Law Enforcement

Cops Babysit Big Boise Broncos

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 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!

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. My questions are: Does the ACTUAL cost of the traveling officer come out of the contract with BSU or is BSU paying for this separate and on top of the contractual amount (which didn’t anticipate this “pilot” program)? Does the entire “neighborhood” go sans a neighborhood contact officer while their officer is cheerin’ on the blue and orange? Is overtime cost for minimum staffing considered in the “cost” of the program? With this kind of “special” service, how did BPD get the contract from ACSO? Just wonderin’

  2. So does BSU pay the City of Boise for these babysitters? Or do they just get to go on my nickel as a taxpayer? Sounds like a glorified way to have a football trip on the taxpayers. Did the Ada County folks get to bid on it?

    EDITOR NOTE–One is the neighborhood copper and the other is a campus cop. Chief says no extra cost.

  3. Pathetic. These “kids” are supposed to be adults. But with all the agressive conditioning they’ve been given, and all the adoration they constantly recieve, these prima donnas just can’t be expected to behave like responsible adults on the road, so a cop is needed.

    Par for the course.

    … and just who pays for this?

    Football. Guh.

  4. Here’s the lyrics to the new BPD fight song:

    (to the tune of the BSU fight song—or Notre Dame)

    Fight for the fame of our BSU
    We’ll go on the road and babysit too

    We’ll have fun and cheer you on
    No one will miss us while we’re gone

    We’ll go to bars and check BAC
    Do brawl intervention for a fee

    We’ll wipe some noses and tie some shoes
    And keep you out of the 10 o’clock news!

    well–you get the drift!

  5. Jon Q Publique
    Oct 10, 2006, 7:39 pm

    Seems like the SRO (School Resource Officer) Program has graduated to the college level.

    Wonder if the officers assigned to this pilot program get to drive Mustangs and spiffy Ford Ranger pickups. Some orange and some blue?


  6. I like to watch a game or two. I’d like the game a whole lot more if I knew the educational side of the University systems was as important to folks as the game…

    There are folks that don’t have rent money that would make fantastic Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Managers, Engineers, etc. …Many never do… What a true super-power nation we would be if we gave them as much money and support as the folks with the pigskin addiction… (But surely not as much fun to watch.)

    As Example: Currently about 20-25% of those with prefect/near perfect test scores are allowed into the BSU Nursing program because of school money issues or some kinda BS like that… That’s total crappola folks.

    So go ahead and tell me all about the money football brings in…but what have you done with it… soon (old age) many of you will wish you’d spent money on a different kind of program… about the same time medicare has major issues, you’ll also have a wait list for basic care.

    What’s that you say…. it’s donation money… well very good then, give them tickets and ask them to give to where it’s needed most…

  7. Albertson’s – the store.
    Albertson – the college.

    “Albertson College” not “Albertson’s College”

  8. Wow! Football players need baby sitters so they don’t get into trouble.
    Aren’t all of these guys over 18? I.E., adults by law (if not in fact)?
    So, if they get in trouble, let ’em take their lumps like the rest of us.

    Or maybe the next time The Guardian’s editors goes a’travellin’, BPD would send along a free body guard for him, too. Oh, yeah, and I want one, too, don’t you?

    Geeze, sounds to me like Boise’s top cop needs a baby sitter to keep him from crazy schemes like this one.

    EDITOR NOTE–Bodyguard Q was asked and that is where the “Greater dynamic than one individual” came in.

  9. P.S.
    I forgot — isn’t it Boise STATE university? So howcum they don’t get a state cop, huh?

  10. Remember back right after 9/11? Gub’nor Dirk was ABSOLUTELY convinced that the Idaho State Capitol was #4 on the Al-Qaeda hit list, right behind the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and White House. (And why not? Is there anybody, anywhere, who does more to fight for truth, justice, and the American Way than Dirk Kempthorne?) There were Jersey barriers all around the capitol, Dirk traveled with Idaho Secret Service (willing to take a bullet for him, no doubt) – there were prolly anti-aircraft guns up by the big eagle. (Does Lame Duck Risch have bodyguards? Inquiring minds want to know.)

    Why quibble over a few hundred thousand taxpayer dollars to protect our Icons of the American Way of Life, whether it be Hollywood Dirk or our Mighty Men in Blue?


  11. curious george
    Oct 11, 2006, 10:50 pm

    It pains me to write this, since I grew up in the land where football is king (in the biblebelt South), and I played organized football throughout my youth.


    Does it really surprise anyone that BSU football players require the extra scrutiny of a dedicated law enforcement officer?

    Does it really surprise anyone that BSU athletics really only pays for itself? Or that the only funds that flow back into the academic side of the campus are the athletic scholarships granted to bronco athletes.

    It used to be that collegiate ahtletics was the pinnacle of amatuer athletic excellence. And, it was the gamesmanship, decorum, and honor that these players displayed (on and off the field) that warranted their being held in high esteem.

    Yet these athletes of the past were still young and impressionable men and women, and it was the high personal standards displayed by the coaches and administrators that imbued the players with the athletic and character skills necessary to become the people we admired.

    And as to this final point, does it really surprise anyone that this athletic department (who was at center stage during the whole “Taco Ballerina” debacle), and this coaching staff (which will drop every pretext of committment when someone waves a larger paycheck in their face), sets the tone whereby we need to have armed security to protect us from our “grid-iron heros”?

  12. The importance of Boise State football has, in my opinion, gotten way out of hand. I wonder if all this adulation, not just at Boise State, but at all the colleges in America, doesn’t make it hard for these players when they graduate and find they are no longer the hot shots that they were convinced they were. I hope the colleges have some “putting things into perspective” programs for these young men in their senior year. I would not have liked to think that the years from 18 to 22 or so were the most important ones of my whole life. However, if these young men still need to have babysitters,that would certainly say they have hardly grown up yet.

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