Guardian Top Stories

Questions Abound In Copper Shoot

The GUARDIAN has awaited explanations why the legacy media has failed to question Boise PD and Chief Ron Winegar about statements made in press releases and in person following the latest “officer involved” shooting on Dale St.

Of major concern is the description of the dead man carrying “an edged” object and “multiple weapons. He also reportedly had “dialogue” with officers. These statements are simply intended to muddy the water.

Not only do the coppers refuse to show the body cam video–if there are any–but the refuse to tell citizens if the dead man had a knife, sword, or putty knife. Failure to tell us assumes a cover up.

Winegar on camera said the dead man had items which “could be used as weapons. Things just don’t add up when coppers refuse to give straight info.

Media reports said the dead man had called the coppers himself and had engaged in dialogue before returning to his second floor apartment. Video appeared to show a building under construction. Sounded like a construction worker, but it will probably be many months before a laundered report is ever made public.

Bourgeau Responds To 7/17 Critics

GUEST OPINION BY
GUY BOURGEAU

Ben— I’m not quite sure how to respond to that comment. Obviously one best left alone.

For the defense, unions are beneficial for police departments. I can’t disagree that what you say isn’t true in some cases, but not here. We are able to set hiring standards and offer competitive wages to attract the best and brightest in a highly challenging market. We do not protect bad cops, we protect the process so that these cases are done right and we don’t find ourselves in a position where we have to protect a bad egg because an overzealous administrator violated case law. I’ve know the editor for 20 years, he can vouch for my integrity and honesty. You may find this hard to believe but given the past few years, not a lot of interest in joining a field that is often exposed to venom and mistrust.

Douglas— yes the wages are better than they once were because it is hard to recruit. A dozen officers were attacked the other night by a male with a high powered semi automatic rifle and stood their ground to keep people safe. What’s the number you think is appropriate for those duties that are becoming all too frequent and more dangerous? We are 30 officers short because the profession has been tasked with everything no one else wants to do and it has become incredibly challenging. We want experience that applies to us. Nothing against a small agency officer but they just might not adapt to a mid sized city agency.

Polar bear— we have no beef with anything other than corruption in the mayors office. If you’re ok with that then I pretty much know how you’re going to vote. We all live with those choices.

Warren— attacking someone based on their writing style pretty much indicates something more of a personal attack than one based on facts which gives me insight into you. Come back with some facts to support an argument. This isn’t about me, I speak on behalf of the officers who expect me to be their voice. This is about transparency in government, something you’re overlooking based on some fabricated perception that simply isn’t there. Despite these shortcomings in your post, and other comments you’ve made, we will always be happy to serve.

UPDATE 8/23/2023–
Our contract is a public document as are our negotiations. I have no hidden agenda when it comes to policing. Unions can be bad in many cases. I’m proud of the work our union has done over the years to make this an attractive career which becomes more and more difficult every year. We hope to make it attractive enough to recruit the best candidates around whether from Idaho, California or Arizona. I have no intention in getting into a back and forth with anyone but love to open an intelligent dialogue about policing in 2023. I will likely retire in the near future and have nothing to lose or gain by being deceitful. Hopefully we can discuss the future as well as the present.

BPD CONTRACT:
FullCLAandbulletpoints202220242

EDITOR NOTE–The GUARDIAN will be happy to post opinions and comments from al sides of issues discussed here.

Progress To Some, Ruination To Others

MORE APARTMENTS for Crescent Rim residents to view in the Lusk area.

Photo Essay by
DAVID R. FRAZIER, editor

We took a little tour of our downtown area recently and sadly realized it is nearly impossible to see the foothills or much of any horizon thanks to the big city apartments and other structures.

The state capitol used to be the centerpiece of the Boise skyline, but it is pretty much obscured today unless you happen to be in the middle of Capital Blvd looking north.

Our city fathers and mothers have carried on a love affair with developers to the point Front Street is a deep canyon with tall buildings crowding the street. They have given away several traffic lanes on both Capital and often on Front.

While the zoning ordinance is about to undergo wholesale changes, it is not an understatement to claim that nearly every development in the past ten years included “variances” for everything from parking requirements to building materials. So much for the rule of law. If it doesn’t fit, change the rule.

The upcoming election for councilors and mayor are of particular importance. We get to vote for only one of the six councilors. Here are some views of our fair city as it continues to grow like cancer.

FRONT STREET canyon looking east

NO VIEWS from street level, no horizon.

LONELY TREE downtown.

CAPITOL PEEKS from behind downtown apartments.

ORCHARD AND FRANKLIN apartments on city land partnering with developer.

Coppers Unhappy With Mayor

Guest Opinion
By GUY BOURGEAU
Boise Police Union president

I am compelled to offer a public statement regarding the recent “investigation” of the Boise Police Department. To think that 500k dollars at a rate of $800 per hour plus expenses was going to go very far was simply foolish. Money that could’ve gone much further if it had been employed locally for a much better value. I think everyone realizes this window dressing was simply a ploy to distract from the real issues, poor leadership at city hall.

I had the chance to speak with Mr. Bromwich, and we both agreed on one thing. The Mayor had deceived us both. Steptoe and associates were hired for a wide ranging investigation on multiple issues. Boise police officers were advised this was a singular issue, retired Captain Bryngelson and his views. An instant level of distrust was created in those first interviews due to the lack of transparency thanks to City Hall. Yet the end result was as expected, this subculture did not exist. An extra $150k got you a Zoom presentation. Money well spent?

There is no question the Mayor saw an opportunity to distract from all of the city hall issues concerning her poor management of public safety in the city, the Office of Public Accountability and the police chief fiasco. Not one to let anything go to waste, she turned and ambushed the entire police department and our relationships with the community for political survival. Politics at their worst.

As far as the Steptoe report, I can’t honestly say that project was money well spent. The union has always supported higher standards, including the use of the polygraph to vet out inadequate candidates. We truly only want the best for our community.

The promotional process is not as limited as Chief Winegar would allow you to believe. It is an arduous process that produces a list of qualified candidates. The Chief has wide latitude to remove candidates based on just cause, thereby eliminating the possibility of subjective bias of office politics. His “hands are tied” mantra, is yet another way of saying he doesn’t want to make tough decisions. Council member Bageant misinterpreted this process based on what the Chief led him to believe.

Hiring a captain from outside in charge of training who rapidly became an absentee landlord, more interested in his personal business ventures rather than his primary job, was another failed experiment.

I watched Chief Winegar’s assessment of leadership issues and his focus was off. I believe Mr. Bromwich was suggesting top level leadership was problematic, an ongoing issue with our command structure, not at the ground level. Leaders should rise to the top by virtue of their character, not by groups of friends or cliques as Bromwich suggested. A retired captain comes immediately to mind.

Performance evaluations have always been supported by the union, and failed only because over the years, command at the police department failed to hold people accountable for completing them. This deficiency had nothing to do with the union or the contract, as Chief Winegar suggested.

I never thought for a moment that I would ever have to defend our failure rate of the academy, but we have a success rate of about 75% in the field training portion of the process, about par for the course in law enforcement. We only want the best for BPD and the training is rigorous. Chief Lee was not responsible for this, he actually wanted to lower standards and remove the polygraph.

Bromwich did get a few things right, for that I will give him credit. However, at the price of $700k, I think there was a far more efficient way to spend taxpayer dollars with the same or better result. If the Mayor had been more clear and less reactive, and actually pursued this matter for a less politically motivated goal, maybe we could’ve done better.

At the end of the day, Mayor Mclean has only succeeded in making recruitment and retention more difficult and tainted the reputation of what is one of the finest police departments in the northwest.

Flagrant Flag Flying Flaunts Logic

A flag faux pas at the White House over the weekend prompted the conservative radio talk folks to flood the air waves with criticism.

Seems the “rainbow” flag of the so-called LGBT-Q community was flown from the White House balcony flanked by the Stars and Stripes. Accepted flag etiquette calls for the USA flag to be center stage, highest, and not smaller if flown with other flags within the USA–especially at government buildings.

A year ago the GUARDIAN took the city of Boise to task when the rainbow flags adorned the public right-of-way on Harrison Blvd. on FLAG DAY. We don’t object to folks flying the rainbow flag, but when it is flown at places like the White House and Boise City Hall, it compromises any arguments against using city facilities to fly the Confederate stars and bars, the Nazi Swastika, the Christian Flag, Trump MAGA, or any other special interest banner.

Not only has Boise City allowed this special interest group flags to fly on city property, they have placed the Boise City logo on some of the rainbow flags adorning City Hall.

Last year city officials claimed the Harrison median flag flying on the public property were a decision of the North End Neighborhood Association. We stand by our position that only flags of the city, state and USA are appropriate on public facilities. One exception came in 2019 when the National POW/MIA Flag Act was signed into law, requiring the POW/MIA flag to be flown on certain federal properties, including the U.S. Capitol Building, on all days the U.S. flag is flown.

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