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Thread: Rules Of The Board
07-09-2006, 07:02 #1
Rules Of The Board
A. MEMBER CONDUCT
1. Professional Conduct is Expected
Degrading posts and name-calling are not permitted. Therefore, do not post comments that attack other members, moderators or administrative personnel. This message board is intended for a free exchange of information and ideas. Keep this in mind if someone disagrees with your point of view and be sure to extend courtesy to others if you disagree with them. Disagreement often leads to informative, lively, and meaningful discussion of the issues. Try not to take it personally. If you feel that someone has crossed the line, either reply in a respectful manner, or send them a Private Message (PM), or report the post to a moderator.
Excessive negativity towards any particular agency will not be tolerated. This is not to say that negative comments about agencies are not allowed. If you have something negative to say about an agency, however, please find an objective way to do so. Nonetheless, if you post negative comments, be sure to explain exactly what you don’t like and the basis for your opinion. If you are uncertain as to whether your comments will cross the line, feel free to contact a moderator to discuss your intentions beforehand.
3. OPSEC Violations
The moderators and administrative staff of this board, have chosen and adopted a policy to deal with threads related to Law Enforcement Sensitive topics. Our policy is purposely conservative. As a privately owned and operated board, we are not bound to adhere to governmental regulations and our definition of OPSEC may go farther in protecting information than the agencies you are familiar with.
Our intent is not to prevent bona fide LEO's from discussing sensitive issues, and within reason, we encourage our fellow law enforcement and other public safety professionals to discuss sensitive work related topics in our Restricted Forums. As such, we reserve the right to ensure that such discussions are held within a setting (at least on this board) of our choosing, that does not allow the casual listener or reader, access.
We realize, that there are those that will debate this issue with us. Quite often we have been told that the protected information in question is "readily available in other open sources". That may be. But we prefer that such information, NOT be readily available here. In short, we will err on the side of caution if there is any reason to believe material posted here could endanger officer safety or the public in general.
We appreciate your consideration, assistance, and respect on this issue.
4. Violations of the Rules
Violations of the rules often have resulted in members being banned from the message board. When a violation of the rules has occurred, moderators usually provide a warning to offenders either when editing the subject post or by sending a Private Message (or both). However, members should not expect a warning for a violation of Rule A(1), inasmuch as they could be banned immediately if the infraction is serious enough.
B. PROHIBITED CONTENT
1. Links to Commercial or Controversial Websites
Please do not post active links to these types of websites unless the information is requested by a member in a prior post. Feel free to share such links through the Private Message system. Active links in your signature also are not allowed, even if a link connects to your personal website. You may indicate in your “Profile” that you have a personal website, which will provide a “www” link to your site at the bottom of your posts.
Active links that automatically start a download when clicked on are also not permitted.
Advertising and offering products or services for sale is not allowed in open threads. Therefore, do not direct members to your website in open threads, even your site has information in addition to goods or services for sale. Such information should be exchanged through Private Messages. Mass-mailings to members through the Private Message system for the purpose of selling goods or services also are not permitted.
3. Job-Postings by Members
Member-initiated job postings or job announcements that pose competition for the commercial side of this board are not allowed. You may post a link to a job vacancy announcement if questions arise about the content of the announcement. However, please do not start a “My Department is Hiring” thread along with a link to the job posting. All job postings on this board are paid for by the individual departments and agencies, and we rely on these to sustain the message board. Your understanding is appreciated.
4. Private Names and Contact Information
Listing the names, addresses and phone numbers of private individuals is not allowed. Feel free to list the main number of a Federal Office Building or agency, but not the names of agents, officers, administrative personnel or other employees, even if the information is provided in a public phone book. Simply put, we do not want agency personnel to be inundated with phone calls or mail as a result of message board posts. Feel free to exchange this information through the Private Message system.
5. Polygraph-Related Posts
Any reference to cheating on a polygraph test, directing members to a polygraph website, or any kind of polygraph banter is not allowed in a post. As a result of problems in the past, the message board administration has installed software that will automatically delete any post of this nature.
6. Signatures and Graphics
Signatures when used must be in good taste and must portray the professional standards of this board.
Extra large signatures and extra large graphics take up too much room on the server and are not permitted. Images in a signature must be less than 50K in size, and the total size of all images (combined) shall not exceed 1 Â½ inches in height and/or 3 inches in length, as measured on the screen with a ruler. If more than one image is used in a signature they all must be on the same line.
Signatures must be static. Nothing in your signature may blink, move, fade, or change in any way. If your board name appears in your signature it must not exceed a size 4 font. Any additional text in a signature must be limited to 3-lines, (including blank lines). Text may not exceed 300 characters, including spaces, and must be a size 2 font or smaller.
Time lines will not be allowed in signatures. Members wishing to post their time-line should post it in their profile.
C. STARTING THREADS
1. Start Threads in the Correct Forum
One of the most common errors on the board occurs when members post threads in the wrong forum. For example, if you have a question about the FBI Phase I written examination, post it in the Federal Questions forum instead of the Hiring Process forum. On the other hand, a general question about background investigations would fit well in the Hiring Process forum.
2. Use Appropriate Titles
When you start a new thread, select a title that conveys what the thread is about. For example, do not start a thread entitled "Question," or "Help," or "Assistance Needed," if you are looking for information on police officer hiring standards in Nebraska. In this case, the title of the thread should be something like "Police Officer Hiring Standards in Nebraska."
3. Ask Targeted Questions
Do not ask questions that are so broad that members will not know where to begin to respond. Questions like: "What does it take to become a police officer" will have people shaking their heads. The members want to help one another on the board, so give them a chance to do so by asking questions about specific situations, processes, problems, or issues.
4. Ask One Question at a Time
Resist the temptation to ask multiple questions in the same post, especially if the questions are unrelated or only loosely related. Multiple questions lead to responses that are time-consuming and difficult for readers to follow. For example, now and then someone posts a thread that goes something like this: "I am a college student writing a paper about the FBI. Please tell me about the functions of the agency, their mission, their history, their authority, and how I can become a Special Agent. By the way, what gun do they carry? Where can I get information about FBI agents killed in the line of duty? Does the FBI pay well?" You get the idea.
5. Don’t Ask “Crystal Ball” Questions
"Crystal Ball" questions are difficult to respond to. For example, some members post a lengthy autobiography followed by the question: "Do you think I have a chance to get into law enforcement." The answer to a question like this one is simple: No matter who you are and what you've done, nobody can answer this type of question with any degree of certainty. Oftentimes your likelihood of getting into the profession boils down to things like written and oral communication skills, knowledge of the ins-and-outs of the hiring process, the type of position you're seeking, "who you know," and other factors. Your best bet is to contact the agencies you're interested in and ask them directly.
6. Posting Threads in Multiple Forums
Do not post the same question – or close variations of the same question – in more than one forum. Choose the most appropriate forum and post it there.
D. POSTING REPLIES
1. Read Carefully Before Responding
Some members miss the point of the thread because they did not read each post carefully. Make sure you have a grasp of the thread before responding.
2. Be Concise
Try to be concise whenever possible, whether in your questions or responses. Posts on this board are no different than other forms of written communication, inasmuch as long messages are less likely to be read. If a long message is necessary to get your point across, however, break it up into short paragraphs and do your best to stick to the point.
3. Use Acronyms Appropriately
Many members use acronyms that are so obscure that relatively few members recognize them. For example, do not use acronyms that are only used by only a handful of agencies, or only in one state or region of the country, because you'll lose the rest of us. When in doubt, consult the Acronyms and Abbreviations page, under the "Announcements and FAQ's" forum. If you do not see an acronym listed that you think belongs there, send a reply and suggest that it be added.
4. Do not Resurrect Old Threads
When reading posts, take note of the date the last post was submitted in the thread. If the last post is more than two weeks old, or the thread (not necessarily the topic itself) has clearly run its course, please start a new thread on the topic rather than posting to an old thread.
E. PRIVATE MESSAGES
1. Sending Private Messages
The most important rule is to keep it simple. First of all, there is only so much room in the Private Message mailboxes, and they fill up quickly. If you seek advice from a moderator or another member, do not explain every possible detail and issue that you can think of and expect the recipient to address each one. Again, keep it simple. Most of our members do not have enough free time on their hands to prepare lengthy responses. Also, if you're asking advice, consider signing your PM at least with your first name. This is optional, of course, although if the recipient is going to take the time to offer their opinion or suggestions, it's nice if they have your name so they can address their response to you personally. It's just good manners.
2. Managing Your Mailbox
Be sure to clean out your mailbox periodically so that you can receive PMs at any time. Do not send a PM to someone and ask for a response if your mailbox is full. If you do, they will receive a "This User's Mailbox is Full" message when they reply, which is frustrating.
F. SUGGESTIONS AND CONCERNS
1. Contacting Moderators
Feel free to contact a moderator through the Private Message system if you have suggestions or concerns. If your comments are related to threads or posts concerning a particular forum (i.e., Federal Questions or Rookie Forum), you should contact a moderator who serves in the subject forum. To determine which moderators serve each forum, go to the Main Index and click “Moderated By”on the right side of the screen.
Last edited by DelC; 03-22-2008 at 15:37. Reason: Spell Check - Spelling Corrections