Looking to bolster how it handles off-the-field incidents, the NFL is adding a new position: Director of Digital Forensic Investigations.
The job description, posted online by the league late last week, says that the new position within the security department will include "conducting or coordinating, supervising and managing detailed and complex investigations involved alleged impropriety or criminal conduct by League and Club personnel." The specific position will focus on dealing with "evidence concerning social media, computers, telephones and mobile devices."
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy acknowledged that the position was newly created as "part of our enhanced personal conduct policy that includes more robust internal investigative procedures."
Following criticism with dealing with Ray Rice's assault of his then-fiancée Janay Palmer, the league hired three women in September to address concerns in the future: Lisa Friel, who formerly headed up the sex crimes prosecution unit in the district attorney's office in New York, and domestic violence prevention advocates Jane Randel and Rita Smith. The league also gave Anna Isaacson, the NFL's vice president of community affairs and philanthropy, an additional title of vice president of social responsibility.
As the group helped shape a new policy regarding domestic violence, the league also felt it needed to rely less on law enforcement authorities to tell them what it knew. League officials were strongly criticized for not seeking out the Rice surveillance tape, which showed him striking Janay in an Atlantic City hotel elevator.
In December, the league's 32 owners approved a more expanded personal conduct policy, which set out specific criteria of paid leave and minimum suspensions based on crime charged. In order to make these decisions, the owners approved the league office to do more extensive work itself on cases involving its players and employees.
The league's reliance on others also was highlighted in its independently commissioned report released in January by former FBI director Robert Mueller, who explored the aftermath of the Rice case.
The NFL is looking to fill the job with a person who has experience with conducting criminal investigations of all kinds, has a strong network with law enforcement and understands forms of social media.