Guardian Top Stories

Boise’s Top Copper Investigated

Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee is the subject of an investigation apparently stemming from a physical incident with one of his subordinate officers. The investigation by the Idaho State Police has been reported locally by several media outlets as well as national media.

The GUARDIAN along with other media have been “tipped” repeatedly for several months.

Most of the reports from either confidential or anonymous sources
say Chief Lee attended a department shift “briefing” in the patrol division. Supposedly Lee demonstrated a “hands on” physical restraint on a Sergeant which resulted in some sort of neck injury.

This is were the actions of those involved get a bit murky and frankly don’t serve to lend confidence and trust in our city mothers and fathers who pledge to be transparent and manage our tax dollars and public servants.

Someone in authority, the police, city attorney, mayor’s office, or the sergeant decided the Idaho State Police needed to investigate. They would be an “outside agency,” but logically would investigate only a reported crime–in this case potentially battery.

When other media outlets queried ISP they were denied any information on an “ongoing investigation.” This served to confirm ISP was in fact involved in an investigation.

When KTVB sought information from the office of Mayor Lauren McLean they were told it was a “personnel matter” and no info was released other than a statement endorsing Chief Lee as serving with dignity and honor, adding no action from the Mayor was anticipated.

The chief has lawyered up with Charles Peterson as legal counsel. A source told the GUARDIAN that Lee will pay for the legal fees. The sergeant has filed a workers compensation claim for an alleged neck or spinal injury. At issue will be whether the officer “volunteered” or not to be the subject of Lee’s tactical demonstration.

The GUARDIAN questions the involvement of ISP in a “personnel matter” and it would appear from what we have heard for more than a month the incident has grown out of control, but there was no crime. If the sergeant was injured, he deserves to be compensated and treated for any injury. We have been told by reliable sources that he has been working normal shifts. Finally, commanders/supervisors should refrain from physical contact with subordinates, be they male or female.

Chief Lee comes from Portland and there has been noticeable grumbling from GUARDIAN readers and others on social media who are critical of the way police handled the riots, homeless, and crime there. Lee has told the GUARDIAN he came to Boise because he didn’t want to be a part of that situation in what he calls “that other city.” There is an element within Boise PD which is unhappy with the mayor’s choice of Lee and with Lee himself.

Since his arrival in Boise, Lee has hired several lieutenants from Portland, a captain from Oakland, California and a deputy chief also from the Bay Area.

Turns out the local BPD officers won’t apply for the command positions because they make more money with overtime than lieutenants (who don’t get overtime). They would also lose their union membership and have additional responsibility if they made the switch to “management.” It is not uncommon for officers to earn in excess of $100,000.

Tired of Pandemic And Legislature? Try Eagles

We simply cannot join the throngs who report daily on the legislature and the pandemic repeating and repeating the same speculation. Better to soar with eagles…

We took our annual drive Saturday to the “EAGLE TREE,” 120 miles east of Boise at WENDELL. The magnificent birds come every Christmas for about 40 days and roost in a couple of cottonwood trees. We counted 30 on January 8. They leave at dawn to fish in the Snake River and return at sunset each day.

Ask locally for WEST POINT or the eagle tree after you exit I-84 at Wendell.

Bring along a pair of binoculars and a telephoto lens if you want photos.

“Hang Up And Drive”

If you are one of those who think the coppers are ignoring enforcement of the “no texting law,” think again.

The GUARDIAN has obtained data from Fourth District Traffic Court showing that 1866 tickets were issued in Ada County alone in 2021.

Here is a breakdown of the enforcement actions.

Boise City PD–961
Eagle City PD–32
Garden City PD–193
Kuna City PD–1
Meridian City PD–336
Star City Police Department–1

Total Citations Issued in Ada County–1866

The “hands free” law for electronic devices applies even when you are stopped in traffic at a light or stop sign. The GUARDIAN monitors the fatal crashes from the Idaho State Police and a horrifying number of crashes report, “The driver crossed the center line and collided with an oncoming vehicle.” Many of those reports detail the driver first went off the right side of the road, and over-corrected.

While the cause is seldom listed as “inattention or distracted driving,” the results often indicate otherwise.

Still At It, But Admittedly Slower After 16 Years

HAPPY NEW YEAR! To everyone. Feel free to offer your opinions on the best, worst, most interesting stories of the past year. Check archives HERE

We have cut back as you no doubt are aware, mostly because when we started the GUARDIAN we were about the only game in town when it came to on-line opinions and stories. With 53 years of institutional memory under our belt we are possibly the oldest reporter both in age and seniority.

Today, there are plenty of on-line blogs and news sources which means the GUARDIAN weighs in only when we get fired up at the motives and actions of the politicos.

Feel free to toss your spears and rose petals and stimulate some healthy discourse.

Feathered Friends Find Feeder

The snow has covered the ground and made home bird feeders a popular stop for our feathered friends. For those who think the GUARDIAN is “for the birds,” you are correct. We enjoy watching the gold finches flock to the thistle feeder as well as the multitude of other small birds who visit the wild seed feeder. UPDATE–Some “GUARDIAN BIRDERS” have identified the birds as PINE SISKINS among several visiting species.

The added treat is making pictures through the kitchen window. We have Anna’s Hummingbirds visiting two small feeders heated with small light bulbs. Never realized they winter in Boise until last year. Sorry no pictures yet, but we are happy to share those below.

The Boise Guardian

…is a fun, factual, informed and opinionated look at current news and events in and around Boise, Idaho. The Guardian was born of necessity.

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