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Arkansas officer with large social media following cuts back

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/30/2017

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A central Arkansas police officer with a million Instagram followers said he plans to post less on social media during work hours.

Tommy Norman, an officer with the North Little Rock Police Department, established a charitable foundation after Los Angeles rapper The Game and his son, Harlem, supported Norman in a 2016 social media fundraising campaign.

Norman's posts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter include videos and photos of him greeting and interacting with the community he patrols. He recently announced on his Instagram page that he isn't allowed to post "interactions with the community on city time," the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2t8DGbI ) reported.

The police department responded in a statement, saying Norman will be allowed to post on social media about such interactions while on duty if he gets approval from the media department.

"(Norman) was advised that we have a policy regarding these actions and all officers are expected to follow the policy," the department said.

Department officials also said there needs to be a separation between the department and Norman's foundation, the Mission Give project.

"The department fully supports his desire to operate his own foundation," the department said. "We discussed the importance of ensuring that no conflict of interest occurred with his work as a North Little Rock police officer and his work through the foundation."

Norman said while the restriction is unfortunate, he respects his department's decision.

Norman's community outreach has reached national audiences, and he has been featured on shows like NBC's The Today Show.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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