Law Enforcement

One BPD And New Policies


The on again off again resignation/retirement of Airport Police Chief Mike Johnson has the future of airport cops and in limbo.

The GUARDIAN has talked to several insiders who concede the cleanest way to handle law enforcement at BOI is to do it with the Boise PD only and have a designated division with probably a captain in command.

Boise doesn’t need two police chiefs running two departments with two hiring standards. Full-time coppers working for one chief is the only way to go. With union wages and different standards it may cost a little more, but it won’t come out of the general fund budget.


We had a chat with Chief Mike Masterson recently and he wanted folks to know of a couple common sense policies BPD has recently adopted.

–The mainstream media covered the unified pursuit policy which puts all police agencies on the same page when it comes to high speed chase rules. This should improve public safety and hopefully preclude some of those gunfights and crashes that make big video bucks for TV shows.

–Cops are not to place themselves in harm’s way by getting in front of fleeing vehicles and then either shooting or alleging “assault with a vehicle. They are to get out of the way and not become the object of the danger. No shooting at moving vehicles. Common sense at its best.

–Command staff are not to race through town with lights and siren to an off duty call unless specifically requested by a supervisor. This probably resulted from a command cop responding to an officer involved shooting after the situation was stabilized with an on-duty supervisor present. The command cop precipitated a traffic accident and there was really no need to run “code three.”

The GUARDIAN is impressed when cops can learn from mistakes and do the right thing.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Whoa! This is gonna hurt recrutiment, don’t you s’pose, Guardian? Who wants to be a cop if he can’t race around chasing people, with the siren blaring and the lights flashing like a crack-addled Christmas tree? (A friend who used to work with me at the City described ’em as “Action Junkies.” And I’m sure there are cops who aren’t addicted to action, but surely NOBODY would deny that there aren’t some who love the adrenalin pump!)

    (I hope the new policy wasn’t implemented before the folks from that “Cops” teevee show came to town. How boring would THAT be?!! What? Writing tickets for “no insurance” and “intentional destruction of telecommunications devices”?) (More often than you’d think, somebody’s mugshot is on the Sheriff’s website because he apparently busted his telephone.)

  2. To be a good cop is a difficult job, Thanks to all who serve.

    I like the new rules…the high speed running is very deadly… Now lets slow down the FD supervisors too.

    If one watches COPS on TV… it’s common to see them get in the way of a car that’s still moving…happy to see that go. I do think they should be able to use the car more aggressively to stop someone at an opportune time though, before they get into traffic again.

  3. They don’t call ’em “one-away” for nothin’!

    I think the telecommunications destruction isn’t so much when they pitch their own phone under the car, but when they smash the phone of their “better half” right before they attempt to strangle her in front of their child-in-common.

    Honestly, it’s always good when public agencies learn from their experiences and make changes when approporiate. Masterson appears to at least care about doing it right.

  4. Well, I agree that it’s good cops learn — but I find it a bit strange that they took so long to figure out that half a dozen agencies all working under different rules can’t cooperate as well as they could if they all had the same understanding of what they should do.

    Also strange it took so long to realize some chases create more danger than they’re worth — something that seems obvious on the face of it, too, plus all the news stories over the past 10 or 15 years about dozens of other departments that figured it out … one at a time, of course.

    Still, the cops are just trying to do their jobs, but some of them do get carried away, chasing and shooting etc. when they’re more likely to clobber themselves and other people than to get the bad guys.

    A copper in a chopper — as they’re called some places — could follow above the speeding bad guy without as much peril to police and passersby. Expensive per hour, but perhaps cheaper in the long run.

    Ah, but who can forget the low-speed chase of O.J. by about 40 or 50 cop cars … like, maybe they thought he couldn’t see the flashing lights and hear the sirens of one or two vehicles, but might notice an entire army behind him? There’s a good reason for that kind of chase, though — TV needed something to show during an otherwise dull time. Sure hope the stations and networks paid for all the cops’ gas.

  5. Hey – Gordon might be onto something!

    I propose “Cop Chopper Seven” – it could have KTVB’s logo on it, and Isabel Bilbao could ride shotgun giving minute-by-minute updates, both to the “authorities” and to the breathless viewing audience. (“That’s right, Carolyn. They’re getting on the connector now… I think they just threw their baby out the window…”) And of course they could divert it on Fridays for “Friday Night Flights.” (I’d tune in every week for a half-hour of small-town high-school football highlights, interspersed with bad-guy chase action highlights.)

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