Boise top cop Mike “Bat” Masterson is dancing a new step and it sounds like it might catch on.
Without hiring more cops, he is beefing up the patrol division by 10% and eliminating some “touchy-feely” services like horse patrol, kindergarten cops in elementary schools, and neighborhood traffic cops. Those guys–and gals–get shuffled to dance on the patrol chorus line.
Under the previous batch of chiefs the department grew flabby because the only way to get promoted–both in rank and pay–was to come up with a specialty. Those specialties include, bike, horse, bomb, dog, school, CSI, accident, neighborhood etc.etc. All of these were capped with a $150,000 motor home so commanders could visit neighborhoods once a month like a political campaign. Ever see them in YOUR neighborhood? The old policy was designed to create a PERCEPTION of police presence, but it mostly offered a bunch of “bus stops with no buses” in the form of empty police booths at Albertsons and lots of unsupervised cops.
Bat is putting his troops to work answering calls for service from the public. Since his arrival in Boise earlier this year, he has maintained a low profile, but from casual conversations with the GUARDIAN he seems to favor construction of several honest to goodness sub stations combined with other city services on one site such as library and fire to serve the needs of the community.
We can only hope the emphasis on river floaters and downtown jaywalkers is a response to “political pressure.”
Those patrol officers are the true “representatives” of BPD. Bat and the command staff need to create some incentives to make the patrol division a destination for good cops rather than a stepping stone to a personal car and flex time.
Citizens are singing a song of common sense with fiscal restraint and it looks like Bat is ready to dance to the tune.
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