By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The mayor of Annapolis sent out an email reminding city officials that there are no posts allowed about national issues on city social media accounts.

Mayor Michael Pantelides told city employees to keep it local after a post on the Annapolis Police Department’s Facebook page.

President Donald Trump’s speech to law enforcement last month prompted a Facebook post by the Annapolis chief of police.

The president spoke on arresting suspected gang members.

“Please don’t be too nice. Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, I said you can take the hand away, OK?,” Trump said.

In response, the following was posted on the Annapolis Police Department:

A number of police departments around the country issued policy statements in response to the president’s comments.

That produced a storm of controversy on the department’s Facebook page, prompting Pantelides to send a reminder to staff.

Mayor Pantelides claimed posts on national issues are “going to distract us from our core mission of serving the citizens of Annapolis.”

The mayor and the chief met, and agree this was not a question of free speech.

The mayor says employees are free to use social media on their own time and on their own personal accounts.

Here is the full email sent by Pantelides, according to The Capital Gazette:

Team,

As I have said many times in our department head meetings, we are not to get involved in national issues or controversy. This post from the police department has caused social media to go wild on Facebook as well as generating a new story in The Capital. This is going to distract us from our core mission of serving the citizens of Annapolis. To reiterate do not post anything whether it’s positive or negative about the president or national politics. Focus your time and energy on helping to make the city of Annapolis better. I hope this is a lesson we don’t need to learn again. Time is our most valuable asset and I do not like having to read through over 120 comments on Facebook and deal with the blowback from this.

Mayor Michael Pantelides

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