If you've paid even a little bit of attention to the Internet recently, you may have seen the somewhat strange viral trend whereby members of police forces around the world crack jokes and post memes to get their messages across.
For the most part, the content shared to Facebook and Twitter pages has been funny -- or at least enough to make you chuckle -- but as with every online sensation, there always seems to be one person or group that takes the joke a little too far.
Enter stage right, the New Zealand Police.
The official Twitter account of the Kiwi police team found itself in a tight spot on Monday after it posted a tweet that said, "when we have to tell someone their family member has died in a crash", followed by a moving image of fictional TV character Michael Scott from 'The Office' with the words "this is the worst".
OK, it's only Monday, but this tweet by NZ Police already takes the booby prize for social media fail of the week. Tone-deaf. pic.twitter.com/w4xG3NAyPL— Nik Dirga (@nikdirga) October 9, 2017
And as you can imagine, it really didn't go down well.
NZ Police posting this Office gif about people dying, then damage control, is sadly the inevitable result of cops trying to be funny online pic.twitter.com/Vy31VZNrRh— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) October 9, 2017
Luckily, the social media team behind the account were quick to act, deleting the initial tweet and issuing a series of apologies describing the faux pas as "wrong & insensitive".
"We apologise for the recent road safety tweet. We quickly realised it was wrong & insensitive & it was immediately deleted. Thx for feedback [sic]," the statement said.
We apologise for the recent road safety tweet. We quickly realised it was wrong & insensitive & it was immediately deleted. Thx for feedback— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) October 9, 2017
Telling someone their loved is not coming home is one of the hardest things cops ever have to do.— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) October 9, 2017
And while the choice of humour probably wasn't the best thing to come from the official New Zealand Police account, at the very least many of its followers were satisfied with the apology.
You got it wrong this time, but be more proud of the times you've got it right, and it's been often. (e.g dancing cops / rail safety vids).— Dan Burt (@daniamiam) October 9, 2017
Thinking of the social team @nzpolice today - a bad call but good on you for being upfront & apologising ASAP.— Krystle Field (@KrystleF) October 9, 2017
Suggest a correction
Completely agree...everyone makes errors in judgment once every so often - great to have an apology.— Anna Voyce (@Miss_Voyce) October 9, 2017