U.S. High Court Addresses Personal Texting on Publicly-Owned Electronic Devices

by Roger W. Palek, WPPA Staff Attorney

On June 17, 2010, the United States Supreme Court gave a very clear warning to public employees who use employer-provided phones and pagers for personal use:

If you don’t want your employer to read your texts use your own phone!

The case, City of Ontario v. Quon, No. 08-1332, involved an officer who used a pager issued to him by the police department to send and receive messages that were, according to the trial judge, “to say the least, sexually explicit in nature.” The justices unanimously upheld the department’s right to read the personal, sometimes sexually explicit messages on the government-owned pager, saying the search did not violate the officer’s constitutional rights.

In … Continue reading

WPPA Names Legislators of the Year


Sen. Jim Sullivan, Jim Palmer, & Rep. Chris Danou

MADISON – The Wisconsin Professional Police Association (WPPA) today announced that it has named State Senator Jim Sullivan and State Representative Chris Danou as the group’s 2009-2010 “Legislators of the Year.” After thoroughly reviewing their legislative records to protect and promote public safety and the interests of those who provide it, the WPPA’s Legislative Committee voted unanimously to recognize Sullivan and Donou with this honor. The committee consists entirely of active law enforcement officers from across the state.

At a recent annual awards ceremony at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WPPA Executive Director Jim Palmer presented the two lawmakers with their awards, … Continue reading