Law Enforcement

Tarnished Heroes

Amazing how little cash it takes to get Twin Falls’ “Best” to abandon those they swore to serve and protect.

Good men who would probably file charges against anyone offering them a bribe were characterized in court testimony as “not being able to be counted on to do their jobs,” after being smitten by $5,000 hiring bonuses paid by Boise Police.

The three cops were fired after Twin Falls brass said they took sick leave following job offers from Boise with the $5,000 hiring Bonus. The cops filed suit against the city and both sides came to an out of court settlement this week.

Twin Falls Chief Jim Munn said it will be summer before his force is up to speed with new hires who will have to undergo six months of training.

The GUARDIAN appreciates the dilemma of Boise Police needing to fill its ranks, but when five grand encourages less than honorable behavior it taints the entire process. While details of the firings and settlement are “personnel actions” and not public record we suspect the trio was “using up sick leave” when they were not really sick.

Meanwhile, Boise will fill its ranks with these Twin Falls heroes who risk their lives daily so we can sleep at night (unless they have a better offer). These guys would make good “free agents” in the NFL and obviously have as much team loyalty. If we could only trade them…

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Your story is an insult to the Police officers. I worked for the city of Twin Falls and it was no prize. I now work for the city of Boise, and I couldn’t be happier. I have no regret in my move because the city of Twin Falls has no loyalty to its employees. They use threats of firing all the time to keep a thumb on their employees. The wages there are not a livable wage and I am glad that the three officers got out. Why should anyone be stuck in a job that they don’t have to. It’s fun that you poke fun at them for leaving, but isn’t that what a free market is all about. Going where you worth is the most. My biggest beef isn’t with pay. It was job satifaction. I feel the three officers will tell you that Boise is a great police force and they can be the best the can be here. Finally You don’t really know if they were or were not sick, you take some big guesses at there expense.

  2. Mr. Logical
    Nov 24, 2005, 4:19 pm

    If the TFPD sucks, then leave. Guardian is right about a lack of character in staying on just to collect wages and not work. That is like taking things that don’t belong to you because you don’t get paid enough. Interesting that all three men who got Boise jobs just happened to get “sick.” C’mon Boisean do you really believe that?

  3. No one has the right to take issue with someone taking a better job or leaving an employer which treats employees poorly. That said…what’s up with LYING about the use of sick leave. That’s the issue. We are all about ethics and honor…but we hire unethical, dishonorable, dishonest officers. Gimme a break. Truth is, these three may fit right in. Ask some BPD officers about sick leave, FMLA and taking off time when their wives have a baby some time. In fact BPD may have taught the academy class on how to scam sick leave.

  4. Please stop with the “holier than thou” on sick leave. I’m not saying it is right, but 99% of all of us have all called in “sick” when maybe we haven’t been. The city and the officers have settled, until we find out the facts of the settlement, we don’t know who acted wrongly.
    My really issue is that the Guardian implyes they are somehow less than honarable to take a 5000 dollar bonus. I’m sure they “served and Protected” the people of Twin Falls until the minute that they left. Comparing them to a NFL free agent, like it is a evil thing to move on, is cowardly.
    It’s funny how the “right to work” supporters love to beat the drum for the law until it’s the workers who exercise they’re right to work somewhere else. Then, it’s ” how unloyal and undersirable they acted . Guardians words not mine.

  5. Agent Whynotski
    Nov 24, 2005, 10:51 pm

    So Dave, Mr. Logical, and Tam never took a mental health day?! I say our police officers, who are often overworked and underpaid for their services, deserve a few days for readying their body, mind, and spirit, and helping their family with a stressful transition, for what is probably an increased workload in the coming weeks.

    Ed note–The increased workload of course would be in Boise.

  6. With 2 ex-members of Boise finest soon to be on the City Council I don’t see a problem here…. and I’m sure the City Council ( who is in charge of the Boise Police) don’t either! Like I said before the recent election… they would solve all of our problems!

  7. Isn’t that amazing!

    In a state like Idaho, with an overwhelming amount of conservatives who tout the old “personal responsibility” clap-trap, the response is so negative to a few officers who are looking for somthing to improve their lives and to ensure they can contribute to their own future. They are doing what they should do; look for a better job than the one they’ve got.

    You are the one interjecting wrongdoing. You are unfairly giving weight to an employer over the employee. What if the Chief is the bad egg here?

    What is missing from this argument is the actual proof these officers took any time that wasn’t coming to them. You can “suspect” anything you want. You can “suspect” your way into a corner, which you have done here.

    Simply put: the poster has no argument. None.

    Without proof they did anything wrong, you have no story. You are simply guessing and that is all. You are trying to shine a spotlight on the three officers and make them look bad and you are trying to make the City of Boise Police Department out to be bad guys too all without the facts.

  8. Sharon Ullman
    Nov 25, 2005, 4:59 pm

    Although details of the firings may be considered personnel matters not subject to public disclosure, any money that changed hands between the officers and the city is a matter of public record.

    The City of Twin Falls must account for all the money coming in and all the money going out. For someone in that area who is willing to go look, there should be a paper trail. You would want to look at the record(s) showing all payments the city made, for what purpose, and to whom during the time period in question.

    Use the Idaho Public Records Law to gain access to these documents. will get you to the AG’s Public Records Law Manual for further information) Happy sleuthing!

  9. This piece should be titled “Tarnished Journalism”. I’ve come to expect an anti-law enforcement slant from Fraz (even though he denies it; “no problem with cops, used to be one”), but this piece just stinks to high heaven.

    First, to suggest that moving jobs for a $5000 bonus is somehow wrong just because these 3 are officers is absurd. Not only are they getting $5000, they’re probably getting a raise in their base salary, better benefits, a better place to live (IMHO), and the protection of a contract which they didn’t have in Twin Falls. This is not wrong; it’s the Capitalist system in action! I guarantee you there’s a reason why TFPD has lost 20% of their force to other agencies – let’s look into that if we want a real story.

    Second, can someone explain to me why using all leave prior to separating from employment is wrong? I was under the assumption that once you earned leave, sick or other, it was yours to do with as you please. Obviously if they’re leaving, they won’t get to use it, so why should the city of Twin Falls get to collect the windfall? Again, those officers EARNED that time, it’s THEIRS, just like a 401k or a pension – so get off your high horses!

    And finally, there’s Tam. I’ve been watching Tam’s posts for quite awhile and she’s even more anti-police than Fraz! Wow, to use the word LYING without any knowledge of the facts of this case is harsh. What makes you think any of these officers pretended to be sick? Obviously they were burning their leave. I suppose if I were to make assumptions here, it would have to be that they were in the right since the outcome was in their favor. If they were wrong or LYING, then why did the city settle? Tam automatically (and predictably) jumps to the conclusion that these three are “unethical, dishonorable, dishonest officers”. And then she disparages Boise officers for using sick leave or FMLA??? Federal Law allows husbands and wives 12 weeks for the birth of a child – so what. Tam, I’m trying to figure you out, but maybe you could help… disgruntled employee, too many tickets, relative shot by BPD, what’s the deal?? (I lean toward the first only because you seem to have a great deal of “behind the scenes” knowledge about the BPD).

    This story is about a Chief who got ticked that MORE of his people were jumping ship and people are starting to look at him – the sick leave was just a weak cover story. Fraz, you of all people should be jumping up and down, happy as a clown, that we’re getting these officers. After all, aren’t you the one looking for government responsibility with our taxes? (I am!) The cost savings to the City of Boise by hiring trained and Idaho POST certified officers is HUGE! Twin Falls PD has the problem; it’s not our problem. Sorry for the long rant.

  10. Patman–
    Before you get too harsh, read the story again carefully.
    Like most postings this is from mainstream media reports.
    –We NEVER suggested it is wrong to leave. It is HOW they left that we find distasteful. Be men! Give two weeks notice, take your vacation and move to the big time in Boise!
    –Boise’s $5,000 bonus is indeed a factor in the officers leaving TFPD. Good for Boise to get them so cheaply! “Amazing how little it takes…” Boise won’t be making many friends with other cities.
    –The TFPD brass said they couldn’t be counted on “according to court testimony” (TFPD testified in court, not the GUARDIAN).
    –Cops got fired and both sides settled out of court. No judgement made or intended.
    –We are still of the opinion that it is suspect that three guys who got signing bonuses all happen to get “sick” at the same time. We think it is less than honorable to call in sick when you are not sick. Vacation is a whole other deal. I fail to understand how the city of Twin “collects” anything off sick pay, but I am self employed.
    –These guys will be somberly issuing tickets for seat belts, 10 mph over the speed limit, expired insurance, etc. It isn’t really out of line to question THEIR actions.

  11. Patman2u- No disgruntlement here. You hold common misperceptions about leave time and those beliefs cost taxpayers and private employers millions each year. Sick leave is not an earned right, unless it is used for the reasons stated within policy. (you know, when you’re actually sick, have a sick child etc). You don’t get paid out for your sick leave when you sever employment. Vacation on the other hand is earned and does get paid out. The BPD issue with FMLA is not that they use it…but that they get a sick leave buy out at retirement per their contract. So it behooves them to save every hour of sick leave they can. However FMLA requires the use of sick leave and makes it mandatory if the employers policy states the use is priority. So, if I take time to have a baby (12weeks) my sick leave gets burned off first, then vacation, then leave without pay. See BPD doesn’t want to use FMLA (but they want the protections that come with it) because they want to earn the sick leave at 15 dollars an hour and get paid for it at 35 dollars an hour. Bottom line is sick leave is for sick. If I need a mental health day, I’ll likely ask for a vacation day or half day. If I’m sick or when I had kids at home, one was sick, I took a sick day. I don’t hate BPD or cops in general. I do have disdain for those who purport themselves to be held to a higher standard, in order to garner better benefits and pay than others similarly situated, but then show their true colors with a sore lack of accountability.

  12. “Tarnished Heroes” “abandon those they swore to serve and protect”, “If we could only trade them…” That’s how the article started and ended. Even an unlearned reader can pick up on so blatant a bias. (So far, 4 others seem to agree with me on this, which is unusually high). The piece was written without even using the courtesy of a subtle bias (sorry if that fact eludes you Fraz).

    Tam, perhaps we do have a legitimate disagreement over the use of sick leave and who owns it. You assume I have the “common misconception”, I believe it is you. Since there is this “common misconception” (i.e. so many people believe it that it’s now COMMON), then why do you use the word “LYING” about people you otherwise know nothing about? Isn’t it possible that those officers were under the same “common misconception” that their leave, whether it is sick or other, was theirs to use?

    I still fail to see what any of this has to do with BPD officers use of FMLA though. You concede it is in fact Federal law, and you also concede that they have contractual provisions for a buy out. So is your problem really with the contract and not the officers? If so, then perhaps the city should hire better negotiators? I’m standing by my disgruntled theory about you too…. “in order to garner better benefits and pay [contract?] than others similarly situated [other municipal employees?]” – sounds like someone who feels undervalued to me. Add that to your other comments about law enforcement; BPD specifically [Google: Boise Guardian/Tam said – great tool] and a revealing portrait is indeed painted. Still just a theory though 🙂

    Final points: If these officers are anything like a lot of people I know, they have on many occasions gone to work “sick” just to avoid using the leave. Were they saving the leave for future catastrophic illness or just “cowboying up” so that they didn’t leave their fellow officers/department/city hanging? Who knows? Would Twin Falls go back and pay for the days the officers didn’t call in when they could have? No. So again, I believe those days are theirs. Fraz, if I separate with 10 sick days on the books, that’s 80 hours the city didn’t have to pay me to not come to work. If they don’t buy out sick leave, then that’s where they would “collect”. They either need to pay along the way, pay at the end, or just don’t offer “sick leave” (many private companies are doing just that). They can’t have their cake and eat it too (i.e. come work for us – we have this great BENEFIT – that we hope you’ll never use so we don’t have to pay you for it.)

  13. Mr. Logical
    Nov 26, 2005, 1:12 pm

    I think the GUARDIAN is pretty up front about things. The Title says it all: “A Different SLANT on the news.” It also says it is opinionated. How can you complain about “bias” with that much disclosure?

  14. Who’s complaining – Fraz is good enough to let me voice my opinion too 🙂 I actually have a lot of fun reading and responding to this blog. You all wouldn’t have nearly as much fun if everyone agreed – it’d be like talking to yourself.

  15. Treva Hamilton
    Nov 27, 2005, 10:37 pm

    Did someone comment that 99% of people call in sick when they aren’t….I’m usually in the “normal” catagory but I can honestly say that in 45 years of working I never called in sick unless I was sick. Of course, I always worked for private business where you were discouraged from even calling in dead and if you wanted to take a vacation you had best leave town or you would get called back in. Those government jobs must be pretty cushy.

    Actually I think various companies and gov’t agencies have different rules and in some you earn your sick time and get paid if you don’t use it and in others you use it or lose it. This is usually stated in whatever kind of employment contract you have, or company practice which would be explained at time of hire. I think someone else commented that many companies now just lump sick and vacation together so everyone gets the same benefits, honest people and liars alike.

  16. I find it foolish the City of Boise would hire police officers who have
    > demonstrated they are less than honest. Anytime they must go to court the
    > first
    > question out of a defense lawyers mouth will be “Did you ever falsify
    > official
    > documents?” If they answer yes the case goes out the window, if they
    > answer no
    > it is perjury. Good Luck Boise.

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