City Government

Police Perform Poop Patrol

Duty ideally suited for McGRUFF THE CRIME DOG, is a priority for Boise coppers who are going undercover to nab pesky puppies that poop on paths.
Team Dave likes to run the city “like a business” with marketing surveys. A recent poll put dog issues near the top of local concerns. Once you know your market, the rest is simple delivery–especially when dealing with those sneaky Northenders who don’t use leashes or pick up after their dogs.

Cops performed a “focused patrol” at Northend parks Tuesday–not to be confused with normal “unfocused” patrols. The GUARDIAN thinks the dog patrol would actually qualify as a “fuzzy” patrol .

Whatever the name, these $32 an hour highly trained public servants are out of their air conditioned computer equipped vehicles, saving gas and passing out $66.50 tickets to make Boise the “MOST LIVABLE CITY IN AMERICA.”

This might even be bigger than the recent “Parking-gate” scandal.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. anti-poopofallkinds
    Jul 2, 2008, 9:55 am

    Yep—but the cops can’t patrol every day of the week or even every weekend, what with all the other mayhem in town. Dog owners are a narcissistic bunch–“my dog or else” is their motto. I’m in the north end and poop deposits are not found only in parks. Recently I discovered a large one in my flower bed, almost stepped on it, dang it. Some scofflaws in the north end also let their dogs roam free on the streets when they’re too stoned to go out and fetch them home. Next time I see one roaming I’m calling dog control. Of course, if it’s on a weekend, I’ll be stuck–no dog control on weekends?

    Meanwhile, there is poop of another kind buried under INL and infiltrating into the Snake River aquifer. Today KBSU (and last night the TV media) were trumpeting that “at last after 50 years ALL that nasty waste will be taken away.” NOT.

    Only some of the waste at INL can be shipped to the only open nuke waste repository in the US–the one in New Mexico, WIPP. ALL means only 1/6th of the total undeground waste that was supposed to have been removed.
    Once again the DOE and Idaho officials are telling fairy stories.

  2. I read about this detail in the paper this morning. Made me laugh. North End Scofflaws indeed.

  3. Given that we have a hard time justifying having police officers patrolling parks looking for “poop violaters”, and I can only assume that the officers would rather be doing something else as well. Is it possible to give P&R staff citation powers, or a group of volunteers (ala greenbelt patrol) that could monitor this situation?

  4. Paying cops $32/hr for poop patrol is just not in the public interest. Here is a suggestion. Large meto areas all over the country have come to the conclusion they only way to totally eliminate the eliminations from pets is to get rid of all the pets. This just is not going to happen. Solution…they have put up plastic poop bag dispensers that are available for pet owners to use for their dogs. The bags are places along side the trails and the local inmate labor detail picks up the poop bags on a regular basis. Is this 100% effective NO, but it is a whole lot better than all the bitching and belly-aching and paying cops $32/hour to issue tickets.

    I like to call it the Rodney King …can’t we all get along solution. Most of the poop gets collected and the dogs have that freedom to run.

  5. The last time I called the humane society about a stray.. admittedly years ago… they told me they wouldn’t respond unless I caught it first.

    As for the weekend thing, their web site says

    “Animal Control officers investigate abuse and neglect cases, rescue stray and injured animals, respond to citizen complaints, educate the public about responsible pet ownership and enforce animal ordinances. Officers are on the road seven days a week and available after hours for emergencies.”

    I guess it depends on how you read that last sentence. I read it as on the road 7 days… and also after hours for emergencies.

  6. Paul–
    Hate to admit it, but there is no LOGIC among the dog people who violate. Not only does they city offer up plastic bags, they also offer temporary leashes to no avail.

  7. The police should be handing out tickets for doggy law breakers, leave the cleanup to Parks and Rec.

    As long as they are taking request, how about some enforcement on bicyclist that are breaking the law.

  8. sam the sham
    Jul 2, 2008, 12:46 pm

    eric, the last 3 times I called about stray dogs all I got was an opportunity to leave a message, which I did. Never did hear from them and never did see their truck in the area. However, I was not about to approach this dog…as I said in my message – the male lab looking dog was growling at two grade school girls trying to walk home. The hair on his back was up and his head was down. When I saw this I yelled at the dog to get his attention away from the children, I then told the girls to keep walking away – and continued talking to the dog from the safety of my doorway. Once they were gone I went inside and called the animal control to no avail.
    Catch this stray? I’m not going to put myself in danger!

  9. 8 cops and only 4 tickets in two hours now that is a waste. On a slow day my pa (a retired officer back east) could write 6 tickets an hour. That is 96 speeding tickets at what $75 a crack not including court cost. And who knows one of those speeding tickets may have kept someone from undergoing the pain and hassle of being injured in an accident.

  10. Boise Whiskey Tango
    Jul 2, 2008, 3:10 pm

    While the “poop” aspect is a legitimate concern (kids play in that grass for C’s sake), my personal issue with unleashed dogs in Public Parks is when a German Shepard comes running over and attacks the pizza my then 9 year old son and wife are trying to enjoy along the river (and the complete absence of an apology or offer of reimbursement from the owner who blithely trailed behind).

    Or the very large (I don’t know what it was)dog that darned near gave me a heart attack when it jumped on me from behind (albeit playfully) as I sauntered across Camel’s Back Park with my Walkman on.

    And then there’s the other large, collared and licensed dog (sorry, I don’t know much about dog breeds) up on 8th Street that I had to draw my 38 and fire upon (into the ground) because it evidently disapproved of my “trespassing” on it’s domain.


    Granted, these 3 incidents occurred over the course of the last 19 Years; but the problem of discourteous dog owners is not getting any better.

  11. Quick test for police officers:

    Which of the following presents the most danger to the public and should be cause for special patrols, quick police action and other major attention (pick only one):

    A. Drunken drivers speeding and weaving in traffic.
    B. Armed robbers holding up a store or gas station.
    C. People being assaulted, beaten, stabbed, kidnapped, etc.
    D. People drinking beer while floating on the river.
    E. Homicides.
    F. “Bikini dancers” letting too much show.
    G. Bar failing to stop serving at 2 a.m.
    H. Doggy do-do on or near a trail or in someone’s yard.
    I. Vicious-appearing dog threatening children and/or other people and/or pets.
    D. None of the above is really worth dealing with except once in a while for publicity purposes.

  12. It might sound silly to have police patrol for this kind of thing, but feces in public places is a serious health threat, especially in places like parks where people of all ages are running around and rolling on the grass. If the cops have something more important to do, maybe hire some poop monitors to babysit dog owners and cite those who won’t obey the law.

  13. John Dadabay
    Jul 2, 2008, 6:38 pm

    Are the cops going to keep the cruisers idling while out on poop patrol? If the cops focus on dog poop maybe a few more people will get killed or maimed by cars and trucks running red lights.
    Those folks won’t be able to have a dog therefore eliminating one more source of poop.

    Folks if you think dog poop is offensive and a health hazard, try finding a campsite in the National Forest after the mushroom buyers leave camp. Human feces everywhere and piles of trash. The county sheriffs need to patrol and write tickets to these miscreants. Campsites north of Ola in the Payette Forest are disgusting. I spent an hour cleaning one up.

  14. By golly, I think Paul hit upon the answer! Let the police do what they are supposed to and spend their time getting the drunks off the roads. Then it becomes fairly simple. Get a DUI in Boise and you will spend your days picking up dog poop in the parks and the foothills.

  15. Bob Blurton
    Jul 2, 2008, 10:21 pm

    I’d let the poop lie and go after some real lawbreakers. Surveys have consistently listed the number one complaint in cities across America as NOISE.

    I little pile of doggy doo is way down on my list of annoying things compared to the jet aircraft racing around town disguised as motorcycles.

    I called the Boise Police Department a year or so ago to ask if they EVER do anything to stop illegally muffled vehicles and the desk sergeant said they don’t keep records of that sort.

    Then I found out that the off-road exhaust system lobby gives huge amounts of money to law enforcement.

    Maybe if the doggie owners bought off the cops like the exhaust manufacturers, they would back off and find more pressing things to do.

  16. All this got me to wondering: Do the two-legged cops (yeah, those guys) pick up after the four-legged cops (yeah, K-9 types)?

    I get this weird mental image of Officer Fido chasing a bad guy who’s trying to get away, while Officer Human runs along behind with a plastic bag inside-out over his hand.

    OK, too far-fetched, but does Officer Human go back after bad guy is brought down, cuffed and in-car-cerated? Or do they hire another policeman to scout the trail for any official waste?

    What happens if Officer Rover needs to squat while sniffing out drugs at at the airport or a school or wherever? Is he trained to use the restroom, or …?

    OK, it’s late at night, and nothing new on here since last time I looked, so nothing else to play with. Guess I’ll go have a drink.


  17. Bob, I would be very interested what information you uncovered with regard to the cops and their direct relationship with motorcycle exhaust mfrs.
    Would you share that information?

  18. Cyclops said “By golly, I think Paul hit upon the answer! Let the police do what they are supposed to and spend their time getting the drunks off the roads. Then it becomes fairly simple. Get a DUI in Boise and you will spend your days picking up dog poop in the parks and the foothills.”

    and then :
    “Bob, I would be very interested what information you uncovered with regard to the cops and their direct relationship with motorcycle exhaust mfrs.
    Would you share that information?”

    Wow, TWO posts I agree with (especially the first).

    I am curious, doesnt boise have “Meter Maid” typs of officers (I have gotten a few parking tickets…) why cant they write citations for this as well?


  19. Bob Blurton
    Jul 3, 2008, 2:59 pm

    Regarding motorcycle mufflers and cops, here is what I remember.

    The ‘Specialty Equipment Market Association’, which represents muffler manufacturers, donates to the country’s police and sheriff organizations. I cannot find the article that exposed this, but I believe that was the issue.

    Another thing is that most cops are military veterans and identify with the black leather clad biker set since a huge amount of vets tend to be of the biker lifestyle group.

    I have attended functions where cops and sheriffs showed up off duty, …and guess what? Several showed up on LOUD black motorcycles. I think cops ignore loud motorcycles intentionally.

    To expand on my conversation with the desk officer, he also told me that it was hard to tell if a muffler was stock or not. This is nonsense since legal mufflers sport an EPA label stamped on the pipe. One can often guess that it is illegal due to the earsplitting noise that reverberates between buildings.

    You can find out more about this at

    Here is what NOISEOFF says…

    The Money Trail

    The largest manufacturers of motorcycles are Harley-Davidson Motor Company (H-D), Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda, and BMW. The largest manufacturers of aftermarket exhaust systems are Samson Motorcycle Products, Vance & Hines, Yoshimura, D&D, and Kerker.

    The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), and Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) are industry trade groups representing manufacturers, dealers and installers.

    They have lobbied against proposed noise-pollution ordinances in communities across America. SEMA created the ‘Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus’ enlisting members of congress to support their agenda. They also enlist local motorcycle enthusiast clubs to lobby on their behalf on political issues that might affect their industry.

    With increasing negative news stories and noise code legislation targeted at the motorcycle community, H-D discontinued manufacturing non street-legal exhaust pipes using the brand name ‘Screamin’ Eagle.’

    Ken Schmidt, a former H-D executive once described the sound of his product in three words: “Voice of God.” He went on during a speech at a business conference, “Noise is good. Noise is the foundation of your business.” H-D had attempted to trademark the noise from its V-twin motorcycle engines.

    Motorcycle riders join political action groups in an effort to combat increased legislation. These groups include the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, and American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). Another group calls itself ABATE, depending on the chapter, the acronym stands for ‘American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education’ or ‘American Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments.’

  20. Bob, I gotta tell you, I understand your concern, and I share your distaste for loud motorcycles(or any other vehicle). But if your only example of police being connected with the exhaust mfr’s is you saw a couple of off duty officers driving loud motorcycles, you are going to have a real problem making your charge stick. each of the companies, and or after market mfrs. you referred to have no contact with line police officers. Sure, the department that they work for may have a motorcycle patrol division, but I believe they are among the most quiet vehicles on the road. I guess I am just having a tough time connecting the dots here.

  21. Bob Blurton
    Jul 3, 2008, 11:34 pm

    Short answer Cyclops… I read waaay tooo muuuch, and tend to remember a lot of it.

    I have a friend that saves every article he ever read on his hard drive in literally hundreds of folders. I am not writing a book, I am just curious about the world at large, so will not need a bibliography cache.

    There are a lot of things I can’t find anymore because they have dissappeared behind internet news source paywalls.

    My favorite vanished story came out in the LA Times when oil was about $45 per barrel. The highway folks down there said that “even if all government money was shifted to road repair, we could not maintain a minimum level of service”. The story was then echoed in the Seattle papers, and others across America.

    So this makes me wonder why Butchy Boy thinks he’s going to somehow make it happen at $145 dollars per barrel, or is he lying and buying a little time for himself…

  22. Boise Whiskey Tango
    Jul 5, 2008, 10:38 am

    [Heavy Sigh…]

    21 Comments about Dog Poop and Tailpipes, and 6 about a shadow government that at a minimum appears to be inept, and at worst a collection of quasi criminal organizations that are gentrifying, homogenizing, and dare I say – Kalifornicating – Boise.

    It’s no wonder the powers-that-be around here don’t fear the citizenry.

  23. Back to the scoop on poop:

    I find this all kind of amusing. I lived on a farm when I was a kid, worked on ranches in my late teens (and some beyond), and still spend a bit of time now and then around various kinds of animals.
    Ya know what? The *all* poop! And that’s been true for years.
    And, yep, kids have been kids for years, too; they run and play and jump and fall — sometimes landing in poop. They brush off what they can, and go back to running, playing, etc.
    And us older folks walk through the corrals, barns, pastures, etc. (that’s why some call us shit-kickers), and sometimes even we can trip and fall.
    Ain’t kilt me yet, I I’ve never heard of any kid or adult getting sick, let alone dead, from falling in the wrong place.
    Yeah, it’s unpleasant, and stinky, but dangerous? Doesn’t seem to be.

  24. Bob Blurton
    Jul 6, 2008, 11:06 am

    Gordon, you hit the nail on the head.

    The city slicker types have been so removed from the natural environment for so long, that they actually believe millions of people living smashed together in giant cities is how things are supposed to be.

    For a reality check on poop, read The Humanure Handbook, by Joseph Jenkins.

    He is a consultant to city sewer districts worldwide and suggests that
    is one of the biggest problems in inustrial countries.

    He asserts that it is sheer insanity to purify and pressurize water, then poop in it, then send it to a plant to have the poop removed, then landfilled, then repurify the water.

    He says we need to shut down the sewers and collect the poop curbside just like other recycleables. The poop then could be used, after composting, to fertilize our crops.

    Poop is not something only to be handled be trained men in spacesuits. It is a valuable resource that can help end our dependance on petroleum derived fertilizers.

  25. Boise Whiskey Tango
    Jul 6, 2008, 6:17 pm

    Granted, I didn’t grow-up on a farm; but on my more-than-a-few visits to farms in Idaho, Wisconsin, California, New Jersey, Poland and Germany I don’t remember even once seeing children playing in feces or the adults purposely lounging in it either.

    Additionally, dog feces contain billions of coliform bacteria. These bacteria contaminate surface water when it is carried into the Boise River, creeks, and lakes via storm drains during storms.

    That’s generally not the case down on the farm.

    There are alot of Apples and Oranges comparisons being made.


    Moreover, the problem of loose dogs in parks has more to do with Public Safety than just poop.

    As the demographic of Boise continues to grow and shift, you’ll continue to see an increase in “macho” dogs.

    Do we wait until one rips the face off of a child (literally) playing at Camel’s Back?

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