City Government

Chief Updates On Copper Capers

Boise’s top copper, Mike Masterson, has lumped several controversial incidents in a media release posted Christmas Eve. While some of the details won’t be made public, the message sent to other members of the department as well as the public has to be viewed as a positive action. Three of the incidents were in OCTOBER.

“I firmly believe offering this information offers greater accountability on the part of police and provides us with a forum to continue to dialogue with the people we serve. The community should know that when we do make mistakes, we hold ourselves accountable and are committed to improving the way we police ourselves and our community.” said the Chief.

(Dates reflect decision dates)
December 23, 2013: A video was brought to the attention of the department of an officer contacting a man who was videotaping a traffic stop. The Boise Police Department pro-actively made local media aware of the video October 10th resulting in widespread coverage. The Chief issued a statement at that time recognizing professional standards of behavior from officers are essential to maintaining the public confidence and trust necessary for public and officer safety. The Chief indicated an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident was underway.

This week, an internal investigation concluded the officer’s behavior did not live up to the policy and expectations of the department. The matter has been addressed consistent with internal disciplinary procedures.

“We are confident that other officers understand our department policy and training regarding the public lawfully videotaping police officers. With today’s technology, videotaping in public is commonplace. While officer and citizen safety is always a significant concern, this incident is a reminder to all of us about the expectations this department has for handling similar situations in the future.” said Chief Masterson.

December 20, 2013: Chief Masterson was informed by the United States Attorney’s Office on December 20th that a federal investigation convened approximately eighteen months ago into alleged civil rights violations involving the execution of search warrants has ended without criminal charges. The inquiry focused on an officer who resigned from the department following an internal investigation into violations of department policy in 2011. After the officer’s resignation, additional allegations surfaced leading to the federal investigation. The Boise Police Department cooperated fully in the federal inquiry. (EDITOR NOTE–The bad copper has been “decertified” by the State of Idaho, never to be a copper again. Last we heard he had a job with firm out of state that has major contracts with the U.S. Government).

December 17, 2013: The department concluded a review of an officer’s use of force involving a dog running loose on the 700 block of North 28th Street that occurred October 20th. Evidence reviewed includes an officer’s audio tape and physical evidence at the scene, including entry and exit wounds on the animal consistent with the animal being between one and two feet from the officer’s leg when the officer fired. The review found the officer acted to defend himself against what he believed was an aggressive dog about to bite him. The officer’s actions were found to be within policy.

The Department is working with expert dog handlers from the Idaho Humane Society and members of the Boise Police K9 Unit to review the incident and provide other officers with additional training. The department is also working the Community Ombudsman’s office on a review of officer training regarding aggressive animals. (Editor note–we have suggested training with letter carriers who encounter dogs daily. Also officer video “body cameras cleared Nampa coppers in a similar incident).

“Despite the understandable emotions of this case, the combined evidence clearly shows how rapidly the dog came upon the officer in an aggressive manner and how quickly the officer had to make a decision on what to do to protect himself.

“When faced with a threat to their safety or the safety of others, officers must make immediate decisions on how best to stop the threat. Anyone who has suffered a dog bite knows they can be debilitating, potentially impacting an officer’s ability to do his job. Officers are trained they do not have to get hurt before they can take steps to defend themselves.” said Chief Masterson.

October 28, 2013: An officer was issued a citation for violation of Idaho Code 49-623, failure to operate with due care after the marked patrol car he was driving collided with two other vehicles at the intersection of North Milwaukee and King Streets. The officer was responding to a call of a teen pointing a handgun at another juvenile. The officer and a passenger in his vehicle were both taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution. No other injuries were reported.

The crash was investigated by Idaho State Police and is noted in the original news release on the incident.

The following is a statement from Chief Masterson:

“While we are not a perfect organization, we are an outstanding one dedicated to providing professional and caring police services to our community.

“One of the ways to maintain trust between Boise police and our community is building a culture of openness and transparency in following our mission –to protect, serve and lead our community to a safer tomorrow. As Chief I’ve thought about ways to achieve this goal, from posting our policy on our website to personally handling complaints from citizens on such diverse issues as bike safety to dispatching of wild dangerous animals in the city. I’ve taken the opportunity to share insight into policing decisions and operations affecting the people we serve through written articles, interviews and opinion pieces.

“We appreciate the opportunity to celebrate successes and also explain lessons learned. Members of the Boise Police Department recognize maintaining the highest levels of professionalism and integrity are essential to maintaining the public confidence necessary for public and officer safety. We all work hard to build and earn a reputation of integrity and professionalism. Boise Police employees work daily as trusted, valuable partners with our colleagues in law enforcement as well our partners in neighborhoods, businesses, schools and other community groups interested in furthering public safety.

“This department employs the most dedicated, competent and caring individuals I have ever come across in my 37 years of public service. I commend their daily commitment to protecting our community and will continue to work alongside them to insure the high quality of professional service that inspires the trust and confidence the community demands and their public service deserves.“

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Interested Citizen
    Dec 25, 2013, 10:06 am

    The pet murderer was there to respond to what……….a cellphone theft?????

    You idiots have way too much misdirection!!!!!!!

  2. Interested Citizen
    Dec 25, 2013, 10:58 am

    Sounds like a lot of deflecting, whitewashing, stonewalling, and excuse generation, Chief!!!!!!!

    I would suggest that you raise the bar several feet for these clowns and establish meaningful standards for these bumbling, bungling miscreants.

    Perhaps the problem originates at the top, in Bieter’s and Masterson’s offices!!!!!

    If those two clowns cannot establish better standards and expect more of themselves and their personnel, vote them out!!!!!

  3. So the dog shooter got a “Well done my brother. any of us in blue (or black ninja) suits would have done the same. . .”

    Maybe, the armed nabob with the k9 phobia can get a job with Nampa’s finest paramilitary organization and help the dude who mans the turret on their MRAP. Should keep him out of the jaws of anymore vicious family pets.

    Too bad the dog shooter didn’t lead the momma lab a bit further and put the rounds into his own toes! That would have been the only repercussions a dog killer belonging to “Boise’s Finest” would have to sweat.

  4. Mysteries- The problem with this “community information” is there are no identifiers. Video- was that the female copper in the Cabela’s parking lot, or was it some other incident? And what is the policy?

    It would be nice if the citizens could know what the exact policies are in these cases. ie shooting a dog on an insignificant routine job… Sounds like THAT policy needs to change. Policy #1- a service boot to the dogs head is better than discharging a firearm in a neighborhood.

  5. Wow, a lot of interesting points you bring up Interested Citizen, and a lot of suggestions on fixing the problems. Sure that will be looked at seriously. If you want to help, actually come up with some alternatives, change suggestions etc etc.

  6. it's all an illusion
    Dec 25, 2013, 11:05 pm

    As usual, every time this chief speaks, things get even more confusing. So Garden City Police Department conducts an investigation into a BPD sgt’s behavior. WHY? Does BPD not have an internal investigative unit capable or competent enough to discern facts and conduct investigations? Are there criminal charges being considered requiring another agency to conduct this investigation? Or is it what it appears to be: the chief and his staff are afraid to touch this issue because it either involved a female supervisor or a pampered member of the BPD elite that they don ‘t want to see harmed after “23 years of service” (doing WHAT is any one’s guess based on this video). And then to have GCPD find that the SGT acted unprofessionally blablah blah..only to have the BPD CHIEF then state………SHE ACTED PROFESSIONALLY”!!!!!!!!!! WHAT IN THE HECK IS GOING ON CHIEF? No wonder your officers don’t seem to know what is going on. YOU don’t appear to know what standards apply and don’t apply. THINK before you open your mouth and focus on FACTS and not protecting your pampered elite. But this is all meaningless when one considers what is said about the Federal investigation. So after EIGHTEEN MONTHS……….EIGHTEEN MONTHS….A fed investigation has decided not to file criminal charges……………………………………………………………….against whom? The “bad copper”? Because the statement is worded so peculiarly that one can interpret it in any number of ways. Somehow one gets the feeling that the whole story has yet to be told concerning this “bad copper”. I find it impossible to believe that after 18 months…….EIGHTEEN MONTHS…..that the feds have just kinda shrugged their collective shoulders and said that’s it…..a dirty cop can do a lot of talking in EIGHTEEN MONTHS. One can only hope that we citizens of Boise are getting the whole story and that the leaders of this department are acting in a truthful and honorable fashion. There is a reason that many in this city do not trust BPD. And it seems to start at the top.

    EDITOR NOTE–No way to blame the Chief for the actions of the U.S. Attorney. Lots of coppers appeared before the grand jury and apparently the Feds didn’t think they had a “federal case.”

  7. Bad dog is a bad dog. No problem here if its destroyed.

  8. Interested Citizen
    Dec 26, 2013, 8:45 am

    Sal Nez:

    A dear family member pet was murdered. And, on a cellphone theft call!!!!!

    Get a clue!!!! Misdirection, misguidedness, extremely poor judgment, impulsiveness, unnecessary use of force, whitewashing, excuses, deflecting, lack of direction, popo kid glove routine…………….

  9. Interested Citizen
    Dec 26, 2013, 8:56 am

    Chief Masterson:

    Pull your head out, pull out your policy manuals, and get your hineys humping on some meaningful and substantive improvements!!!

    Establish and enforce higher standards for yourself, first of all, and then higher standards for your personnel. More substantiveness and results, less deflection and pandering to substandard officers. Fire some dolts, get busy!!!! Quit whitewashing misconduct and pathetic judgment!!!

  10. So what is the acceptable answer?
    BPD has someone else do the investigation of the female Sgt. You complain. If they would have done it internally you would have complained. So who investigates? I guess there is no making you happy there huh?

    The civil rights violation allegation was investigated by the Feds. Civil Rights violations are a federal matter and not within the purview of the state. The Feds opted not to prosecute. That is their choice and BPD has no say in the matter. BPD took the most severe action possible. The employee was fired, and the state decertified him. And yet you still aren’t happy that BPD has not done enough to him.

    And then there is the issue of the loose dog attacking the cop. I guess he should have waited until the dog mauled him before doing something about it. Maybe all cops should be required to be shot by people pointing guns at them too before being allowed to respond. You people kill me.

    Seems to me you are all out for blood and nothing less. Shall we hang the accused officers from the highest tree in the kingdom by their livers? That’s what it seems you are all after. 100% cop haters. There is no making you happy so why bother. In your eyes all cops are guilty until proven innocent and any action they take is wrong. If I was Masterson I would simply put you on ignore mode.

  11. Rod in SE Boise
    Dec 26, 2013, 4:52 pm

    Over the last 15-20 years the BPD has gone from ALWAYS getting bad press (for over-reacting in almost every situation imaginable) to what we have today, a mixed bag of good and bad. You have to agree that that is an improvement.

    However, the militarization of the BPD (and every other law enforcement agency worldwide) needs to be reversed.

    Local law enforcement agencies cannot be allowed to use drones.

    And Chief, please lean on the ACHD to get rid of those flashing yellow left turn signals, before people get killed, if they haven’t already.

    One more thing, stop the fixation on speeders and focus on red light runners, who are far more dangerous.

  12. Thanks no brainer..
    Dec 26, 2013, 7:11 pm

    Gee. Thanks Officer. You completely missed the point. You have definitely found your niche.

    If BPD is incapable of cleaning their own laundry, maybe it is time for a new crew of leaders. The Chief’s non-denial denial denying whatever he is denying took place requiring a federal investigation is meaningless. It would be nice if he explained what the issue was requiring a federal agency to investigate since apparently there is “nothing there” but we are now taking his word that whatever it was, it’s all ok and don’t worry about it. All we are told is it revolves around warrant issues. BY WHOM? If your attitude is reflective of the zombie like state of our law officers in this city, God help us. There is obviously an issue here if another agency is required to investigate it( and that refers to both the female sgt and the fed investigation). As for the sgt, there are only a couple of plausible explanations: what she did was criminal ( in my view it was) or the Chief didn’t want to be ultimately responsible for ANY decision made .

    If it is anything less then why did GCPD have to get involved? It smells like someone wants the 6 figure income without the responsibility that goes with it. That is disturbing. Why not appoint a civilian to run the show then
    Of course it doesn’t matter. It will be lumped under “personnel issues” if asked what the punishment was for the sgt. Of course I am wondering if CRIMINAL activity on the part of officers falls under the definition of “personnel issues” or not.

    And contrary to your accusation, it is not a question of self satisfaction: it is about the truth and the transparency of an organization that is anything but.

    EDITOR NOTE–Perhaps this previous post will shed some light. http://boiseguardian.com/2013/03/10/lawmen-circle-the-wagons-in-anticipation-of-criminal-charges/

    And this one http://boiseguardian.com/2012/06/25/boise-copper-banned-from-idaho-law-enforcement/

  13. Thanks no brainer..
    Dec 26, 2013, 7:27 pm

    …and if you would can you please explain what “unprofessional professional” behavior means. Your chief seems rather….confused.

  14. remain calm, continue forward
    Dec 27, 2013, 8:46 am

    Blame isn’t an issue. Responsible behavior and the truth is. We are powerless to really do anything. So we standby and watch as the power brokers in this department tell us to ignore the man behind the curtain, to not believe our eyes or ears or even our common sense and move on.

    At any rate, for a federal agency to spend 18months “investigating” a municipal agency is news in itself. Maybe one day someone will report it. A dirty cop is cornered , the FBI steps in and for 18 months we in this city hear nothing. Right Chief. There’s nothing there.

    Word games. My money is still on the Feds.

  15. Firstly, I will calmy respond by truthfully telling you that I do not work for the BPD, the ACSO, GCPD, or any other law enforcemnet agency in ADA County. You did peg the nail on the head when you said “Officer”. You are right, just not Ada County.

    Secondly, the reason why you have another agency investigate alleged criminal acts by another agency is so that it will be impartial and there will be no accusations that you influenced the investigation. I don’t see how you are going to get around having someone from outside the law enforcement community investigate and charge a criminal act when they don’t have the authority to do so. Who else has that authority that you think should do it?

    I just think you guys are going to complain no matter what and you don’t seem to have an acceptable solution that will make you happy. It’s pretty obvious you are very biased against Masterson and no matter what he does is apparently wrong. He’s doing what you are asking and still you are kicking him. I would tell you to pound sand if you did that to me.

  16. remain calm, continue forward
    Dec 27, 2013, 8:35 pm

    Well done but you are giving him too much credit. The bad copper resigned according to the article. Forced resignation was the term used, but translate that to mean that whatever investigation, if any, BPD conducted was over with. He got caught. He’s gone. The Feds appear to have stepped in long after the fact, not at the request of any leader in the BPD. WHY? If bad copper was no longer employed by BPD and hastened out the door as quickly as possible, then what were the feds looking at? Bad copper is no longer his employee so why does he care? Unless of course bad copper averted an indictment in some manner (read deal), Masterson sure isn’t talking. Warrant issues. Ok. Bad copper? Who? And if he didn’t initiate the investigation why is he insinuating it’s over? I love the term “cooperated fully “as well. That can be interpreted in a number of different ways. Until I hear a federal officer announce that whatever they are investigating is complete, i surely don’t believe this guy. You should at the very least be curious about the murky waters. Feds spending 18 months on an investigation should merit some hot shot reporter’s interest.

    And as for our youtube heroine, civil rights violations are investigated by the FBI. It’s safe to say that the sgt was not under any threat of criminal indictment. Which forces us to ask, then why did GCPD, not exactly the premiere law enforcement agency in Idaho get stuck with calling the ball on this one. It doesn’t matter. The 23 year female sgt skated, she knows it and is thanking her lucky starts I am sure. Of course you still have not explained how GCPD can call her actions “unprofessional while the ever so articulate chief of the BPD gets on TV and calls her actions “professional”. Hard to figure out what his standards are.

    Thanks for your service.

    EDITOR NOTE–Let’s try to let this dead horse be buried. At the risk of defending the Chief for a TV bite I didn’t see, regardless of what he SAID, I am sure he meant her PROFESSIONAL acts were not “professional” CONDUCT. Professional acts by a lawyer, copper, doctor or teacher (under “color of office”) can be UNprofessional.

  17. Read the article closer, it said, “The Chief issued a statement at that time recognizing professional standards of behavior from officers are essential to maintaining the public confidence and trust necessary for public and officer safety.” He did not call her professional for her action. He actually said then, “…the officer’s behavior did not live up to the policy and expectations of the department”. In a nut shell, she messed up and she is getting disciplined for it. In the immortal words of the editor, lets try to let this dead horse be buried.

  18. Interested Citizen
    Dec 28, 2013, 3:35 pm

    But, when a law abiding citizen is ensnared by nitwitted law enforcement, including popos, prosecutors, and numbskull judges, it stays on the Idaho Repository forever, including a dismissal!!!!!

  19. Then don’t put yourself in a situation where you are involved in the legal system! Its not that hard to be a law abiding citizen either you know!!

    EDITOR NOTE–Sorry folks, we had to close comments on this one. The dead horse is buried.

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