Mary Ferguson is a police officer that receives a salary from Facebook

Posted Jul 16, 2014

In the city of Menlo Park, California, Mary Ferguson works as a police officer. What makes her situation unique from other police officers is that she receives a salary from Facebook. Facebook pays her an annual salary of $194,000, according to The Wall Street Journal. Tech companies sometimes paid police officers in the 90s, but the practice is fairly uncommon.

Ferguson will focus on helping large businesses plan for emergencies and works with juvenile offenders. She also has an initiative to keep kids in school.

“We just identified a need in the community,” said Facebook associate of corporate communications Genevieve Grdina. “It’s not the ‘Facebook officer’; it’s the officer for the whole community.”

Facebook is not expecting any special treatment, but some people are worried about conflicts of interest. Some people believe that a police officer paid by Facebook may have a hard time making decisions that are related to the company. For example, how would she treat people that work at Facebook if an issue comes up?

Some people believe Facebook is worried about crime stats in the area and wants extra protection for when it expands its headquarters. Here is a video segment about it, which was put together by the WSJ: