Debra Berg, a supervisor in the communications unit of the Miami Beach Police Department, runs an online group-sex site with her husband as a sideline. The Miami Herald says the case illustrates modern-day conflicts “between an individual’s self-expression…and an organization’s interest in protecting its public image.” Berg, 49, says her extracurricular activity “doesn’t affect anything at my job, and the things are two separate entities.” In a San Diego case, an officer was fired in 2001 after his superiors discovered he was selling on eBay videos of himself performing sex acts. A federal court overturned his dismissal, calling the videos speech protected by the First Amendment. The city will ask the U.S. Supreme Court consider the case. ”This is not the image that the police department wants to portray, and perception is everything in law enforcement,” said a city attorney.
In Miami, Berg is retiring from the department in September. “It’s been a little difficult having everyone in the department know [about the website],” she said. “It’s more of a computer hobby than anything else, with maybe an occasional photo session. I just happen to enjoy that lifestyle.”