A new Pueblo police policy says officers cannot identify themselves as members of the force on their personal social network accounts unless they’ve been authorized by the chief.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported Monday that the policy affects social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Officers are no longer allowed to post photos of themselves in uniform or wearing department emblems or carrying department equipment. The policy also bars employees from gossiping about the department with outsiders.

The policy went into effect on Jan. 31.

The chief says the policy is intended to prevent any online behavior that reflects negatively on the police department.

A similar policy is being drafted by the Pueblo County sheriff’s office to regulate the its deputies’ social network sites.