New York City police recruiters are using the “linkedin” social network as a recruitment tool, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the group Free Speech for People.
The lawsuit alleges that the recruitment site has been used by police departments to advertise and promote their services to prospective recruits, and the service has attracted a “large and growing number of illegal, unsanctioned, and unauthorized recruiters.”
“Linkin” is an on-line application system, used to recruit users for “a variety of activities,” the lawsuit claims.
“The use of this system by the NYPD to solicit, and in some cases to recruit, recruits for the New York police is an abuse of the linkin’ service by recruiting agencies to use it as a recruiting tool.”
The NYPD said in a statement that the NYPD does not use the “linkin” service.
The NYPD has said it does not recruit in the United States, but does use other forms of social networking, such as Google+ and LinkedIn.
“Our use of ‘linkedins’ is to provide a link between people who have a common interest and help to connect people who share a common goal to one another,” the statement said.
The New Orleans Police Department is the only other law enforcement agency to have been identified as a linkin-targeting company, according a report by Buzzfeed News in April.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court, alleging that the use of “linkedins” violates federal civil rights law.
The suit is seeking unspecified damages and unspecified injunctive relief.
The complaint says that the department’s recruiting page, www.linkedin.com, offers links to “frequently requested services and events,” and “link-up” programs to “connect people with friends and co-workers.”
“Linkin’ is a social network for the recruitment of individuals to work for the NYPD,” the complaint said.
“There are currently a total of more than 2.5 million active police recruitings across the United Kingdom and other countries, including many in the U.S.”
According to the complaint, the New Jersey Police Department uses the “Linkedin” service to connect recruits with its recruits, but that the “city of Newark has never contacted New Jersey law enforcement to solicit recruits.”
The NYPD’s recruiting site, www, also offers links “to events, programs, and services that are related to the New Year,” including a “police-sponsored soccer match, a holiday party for local police officers, and an event with Mayor Cory Booker and Newark’s police chief,” the suit said.
A New York State Department of Education spokeswoman told ABC News that “NYPD recruiters” are allowed to use the school’s recruitment website.
The use “of linkedins” has been linked to an increase in recruitment scams, the report said.
The NYPD told ABC that the New Orleans police department “is not a link-in-site, and we do not engage in the recruitment or referral of people for employment.
We have no information about who is or is not using linkedin.
We do not share or disclose the information we receive from our recruiters,” according to the statement.
The city of Newark said in April that the city’s recruitment department had not used the “LinkedIn” system since January.
“Linking our recruitment efforts to the ‘linked-in’ platform has been done by a third party in order to improve the visibility of the recruitment efforts,” a city spokesman said in an email to ABC News.
“We are very proud of our recruiting efforts and the work we have been doing.”ABC News’ John Hefti contributed to this report.