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Police work with social media giant to have duplicate, fake account removed, continue to monitor page

COURTESY PHOTO - The Sandy Police Department has confirmed that the comments previously made on the department's Facebook page were by someone using a fake account posing as the SPD. Sandy Police Department launched its new Facebook page Dec. 30 and already has experienced what many social media users have come to know well — a troll.

Shortly after the page went live, comments started rolling in, with praise and also questions for Sandy's local law enforcement.

In the comment thread of the page's first post, Kyle Sullivan asked: "What will (the department) do to enforce the COVID mandates when Stan Pulliam unilaterally decides that the vulnerable lives of Sandy's elderly and immunocompromised don't matter as much as business owner's profits?"

This question was met with an answer from someone posing as SPD.

"Nothing, Kyle," read the since-dubbed fake account "SandY Police Department." "That's what we're going to do about citizens living their lives without the veil of wool pulled over their eyes."

Administrators of the page were quick to contact Facebook about this duplicate account and the comment has since been taken down.

"They duped our account," Chief Ernie Roberts said. The profile photo of the fake account was even identical, but the name was slightly off due to a random capitalization on the word "Sandy." "We've already contacted Facebook about this issue."

"We are excited to finally be on Facebook and to have another way to reach the community that we serve," Roberts said in the page's initial post. "Part of our mission statement reads, 'We are committed to protecting the lives of our citizens, ensuring a safe community, reducing crime and the fear of crime.' Our goal with this page is to help us fulfill that mission statement. We hope that the community will engage with us on this platform and follow along with the hardworking men and women of the Sandy Police Department."

Like with the incident of the fake account Dec. 20, Roberts said public information officers for SPD will continue to monitor the page.

As for an answer to Kyle Sullivan's original question, Roberts said, "We're going to do the same thing we've done since the executive orders came out."

The Sandy Police Department previously has taken an education-first approach to complaints about mandate violations, saying citing would be a "last resort." Roberts also added that he hasn't heard anything directed at his department or the city from the governor's office regarding the "Open Oregon" movement protest planned for Jan. 1.

"We also don't really know what will happen here (on Friday)," Roberts said, in terms of who will open or how citizens will respond.

"We're going to continue the approach we've taken," he said. "We'll call people if we get complaints and try to educate people. In extreme circumstances, we'll send reports to OSHA and the OLCC and let them deal with the enforcement. I hope folks are safe. If they do decide to open, they know they're violating those mandates."


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