City Government

Dancing The Cop Shuffle

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.police_with_children3.jpg

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.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. The system you refer to was known was the Dual Career Ladder. Something conceived during Union negotiations many years ago; Chief Carvino, I believe. It was supposed to be accompanied by behaviorally anchored standards which officers had to maintain (a sure level of proficiency in each skill area). The standards were never developed and the system ended up money for nothing or “pay for breathing” as one good friend referred to it. (Then Lt.) Tibbs was in charge of the development of the Dual Career Ladder, which he tended to develop around a certain detective who never aspired to a supervisory position but certainly MUST have been worth more pay than a regular detective.

    Chief Masterson is a wise man indeed if he saw through this ruse of pay for everything from foreign languages to blood spatter analysis. Good for him and good for the City for allowing him to move forward with disbanding some of the pet programs developed in a day when gladhanding was more valued than preventing and solving crimes.

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