Fresno County sheriff, district attorney take down personal Facebook pages amid ISIS threats

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Several Valley law enforcement leaders are warning officers in their department about being active on social media after the latest ISIS threats. (KFSN)

Several Valley law enforcement leaders are warning officers in their department about being active on social media after the latest ISIS threats.

The latest message put out by ISIS is being taken as serious and credible by Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.

"This is very different," said Mims. "There was a specific video that was put out by ISIS saying to those that are disenfranchised: use social media to identify and target law enforcement."

The threat not only prompted the sheriff to take down her Facebook page. Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp shut down her personal account too. She told friends and family: "It's a sad day in our society when fearing for our own safety, the safety of our families, and our departments causes us to take these measures and truly violates our First Amendment rights."

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer has decided to leave his page up because he is friends with mostly department personnel and primarily uses his Facebook to collect information and get insight.

"But I don't post on that Facebook; I simply monitor," said Dyer.

Both the chief and sheriff sent out notices to employees Friday, warning them about the threat and to be more aware of what they post and who can access it. The sheriff also reminded workers it could be a post by a family member that innocently reveals personal information. Chief Dyer has also provided officers with recommendations he feels are wise to live by, even when there's a not an impending concern.

"We have instructed our members of our department to be very, very careful in their use of social media," said Dyer. "Our officers should not have pictures of themselves in uniform, should not identify themselves as police officers because truly that allows them to be the target that we do not want them to be."

The Facebook pages operated by both the Fresno Police Department and Fresno County Sheriff's Office are still up and providing information to the public.

The sheriff has left her Twitter account up but says she will not be posting specific information about her whereabouts for her safety.

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