SMACSS Alert: Florida chief’s YouTube ad uses uniform & vehicle to sell fishing gear

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Since this is a YouTube commercial that’s prompting the concerns in Orlando, Florida it’s filed under the SMACSS (Social Media Assisted Career Suicide Syndrome) category. The bigger issue, as you will see, is simple ethics as a government employee.

You have to wonder after reading the WFTV-TV story by Shannon Butler how you get to the level of district chief and aren’t aware that using your uniform and city owned vehicle to sell your own wares could be a problem.

According to the TV station, it’s not known publicly if the chief was on-duty when the commercial was shot.


Eyewitness News learned the vehicle that is in the video is not a take-home truck. It’s used by the chief who is on duty in that district that day.

Investigators are reviewing if the video violates policies in the city ethics manual. One of the policies includes the use of city equipment and that “they may not be used for private or personal purposes.”

A statement from the Orlando Fire Department reads: “The Orlando Fire Department was made aware of this video yesterday (Thursday) and immediately asked the employee to take the video down, which he did. We are further looking into the situation to see if any city policies have been violated.”