The GUARDIAN has received word of a philosophical split among the local cops over another well intended, but not well thought out internal campaign.
We hear that a “challenge coin” has been minted in honor of Mark Stahl, the officer who was killed 10 years ago in the line of duty in a hail of bullets during a traffic stop that erupted in a shootout. Some officers see it as “dirty money.”
In what can only be termed a twisted irony, the coin is the product of Randy Hayes, the former officer who was fired in shame, tried, convicted, and jailed for having sex with a female minor while on duty. Hayes’ novelty company was selected to provide the coin.
The intent is a fund raiser to sell the $20 coins which are part of a military-like challenge coin tradition. Proceeds are to go for a memorial to Stahl. It is a project of the independent “Boise Police Citizen’s Police Academy.”
In the military these coins are sometimes known as “commander’s coins.” They are passed out to troops for doing good things as well as traded among units, and sent as souvenirs. Lt. Gov. Jim Risch had one minted to give to National Guardsman when he was guv. Harmless way of creating esprit de corps and offering a talisman (good luck charm for you non-library types) to carry in one’s pocket.
Since the BPD insignia is used on one side of the coin, the chief approved the project.
He told the GUARDIAN the coin will comemorate the 10th anniversary of the only officer to lose his life in the service of the department.
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