We’ve discovered the most important thing in our fair city and most people already know what it is: BRONCO FOOTBALL!
On Saturday we commented on a uniformed Louisiana state trooper packing heat in the stadium. Readers explained that we were out of touch and it is just a fact of life “in the south” that cops travel with the football teams “for security.”
We did some checking locally and find that Mayor Dave Bieter doesn’t have a cop traveling with him and Dr. Bob at the university doesn’t have one. But in a “pilot program” a couple of Boise’s finest travel with the football team, including officer Jermaine Galloway, a former Albertson College athlete.
Chief Masterson tells us he got a letter last Spring from Coach Pete looking for cops to make road trips. They agreed on Wyoming and New Mexico as test runs to “evaluate the program.”
Cops don’t travel with basketball, tennis team, wrestling or golf. Only football. Why?
Captain Jim Kerns tried to explain the duties of the traveling football cops and we will share what he said. While not verbatim, we offer his remarks in context and objectively:
–The traveling football cops are not in uniform, do not carry weapons, and are on duty. One is assigned to BSU campus police and the other is the neighborhood officer.
–Boise PD tries to establish rapport with the team through red shirt freshman ride alongs and the travel gig is an extension of the ride along program.
–Since the cops got chummy with football players they haven’t had any arrests or problems in the downtown area with players..as they had in the past.
Good so far. A common sense approach that seems geared at keeping the players in line and letting them know the rules in Boise.
But, what do the traveling cops actually do we asked Kerns?
–Cops monitor the kids coming in and out of the hotel and onto buses.
–They establish relationships and liaison with local law enforcement so the coaches can concentrate on the game.
–They provide the coaching staff with additional resources.
–They facilitate the process of the criminal justice system when needed on the road in case a player becomes the victim of a crime. 🙂
–This is a larger dynamic than a single person. BSU is now in the big time. They are a top twenty school.
In an effort to put the football road cop plan in perspective we checked with some other schools. Michigan State and Notre Dame staffers told us they were “unaware” of any cops traveling with the team.
At Nebraska–a school with a less than stellar reputation for football character–we talked to Sgt. Jeff Hohlen who travels unarmed and in plain clothes with the Corn Huskers.
When asked to explain his duties he sounded just like Boise’s Capt. Kerns with “liaison” talk. We asked what it REALLY means in layman’s terms, Hohlen said, “We do a whole lot of baby sitting keeping the players from getting in trouble.”
That we understood. Go Broncos!
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.