City Government

News “Forthcoming” On Vacant Ombudsman Post

In the wake of the viral video of the lady copper confronting the camera-toting antagonist, the GUARDIAN has fielded several inquiries about the position of ombudsman for Boise.

Council President Maryanne Jordan has told us, “The position is important to the community. Next steps should be forthcoming shortly.”

The first and only ombudsman to oversee police actions on behalf of citizens was Pierce Murphy who left earlier this year to take a similar post in Seattle.

The position was created by former Mayor Brent Coles when citizens called for a police commission to guide the largest city department in the wake of numerous “critical incidents” which resulted in multiple gunshot deaths of suspects and a police officer.

Dennis Dune, interim ombudsman, has filled the chair since Pierce Murphy’s departure in June. There is currently no opening posted for the job on the Boise City website.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Hopefully the individual hired, if there is one, will not be another LE insider. IMHO this is not a position for an individual it should be at least 3.
    Dave how was the individual videoing the cop an antagonist? Seems to me he was well within his rights.

    EDITOR NOTE–As a photographer myself, I would defend his right to make pictures, but he can still be antagonistic.

  2. There is value in conducting an evaluation of the police ombudsman position to determine if this policy initiative has served the purpose for which it was originally intended, and if it has, if the position needs to be continued.
    I favor and would require that all policy initiatives created by resolution or ordinance include sunset clauses. Otherwise we risk establishing programs during one administration that may not be necessary in the future.
    If the sunset evaluation proves that the program is still needed, then the elected officials can take the necessary action to modify and/or continue the practice.
    Pending any review in the case of the police ombudsman position, I would like to see the resources for this position shifted to provide improved customer support to businesses that are trying to cope with city requirements — or to code enforcement which seems to be insufficiently funded.
    We need to be smarter with limited tax dollars. That’s what I would ask Mayor Beiter to consider if I was on the City Council.

  3. Let’s not forget the reality of the Ombudsman’s creation: The citizens were shocked at the spike in violence in the 97 time frame. The violence was nothing new to big cities in the USA but it was shocking for this berg. The REALITY was, in spite of media attempts to color it otherwise, that the officers involved in EVERYONE ONE OF THOSE INCIDENTS acted correctly and were cleared. But for some reason the TRUTH was not of interest to the local media who in typical fashion fanned the flames of anger among certain elements of this city. And, as was expected, the vast majority of the OMBUDSMAN”S investigations involved meaningless demeanor and language complaints or false accusations by citizens that were easily found to be false. The so called parallel critical incident investigations did nothing but confirm what the real investigating agencies already had determined in other instances. I wonder if the OMBUDSMAN will ever find that he may have to return to this fair city in the near future…………hmmmmmmmmm.
    Having said all that, the position is meaningless but it is here to stay. He or she gives the citizens a false sense of security that there is some watchdog element monitoring the police in this city. Th position is political……..the mayor, the chief the ombudsman are all sleeping in teh same bed…… don’t kid yourself that anything of any importance will ever come out of this office. It’s $80k that could be used in any other area of city government…….like animal fecal matter removal.

    EDITOR NOTE–Bud, it was the ombudsman who revealed the “Taser up the butt” incident. The city entered into a secret agreement to pay the ex-convict (who was sent back to prison) $150,000 to not push a civil suit in Federal Court. Without the ombudsman, it would have been a “personnel matter,” closed to the public.

  4. Don’t hold your breathe for a police ombudsman any time soon. The City Council has no priority in this matter. I am surprised that they have a interim ombudsman in there now.

    There is a definite hated of the citizens of any city by their police it becomes increasing evident in the militarization of the police encouraged by the Dept. of Homeland Security. Just witness what was recently purchased military vehicle:

    Such purchases are happening nationwide and sanctioned by the military.

  5. I am not certain that is exactly how events transpired…but as I said, the “vast majority”. Some instances need someone to look in to them besides the internal police mechanisms and that entity should probably be a state or federal investigating body. The ombudsman wrote beautiful flowing novels….that really meant nothing. But yes, the “taser up el butto” was probably one that needed some looking into. I just have a problem when the ombudsman chief and mayor all probably have a very similar agenda……if the city wants oversight, maybe a police panel with 3 or 5 or 7 individuals on it… keep everyone honest and prevent ONE man from getting to power hungry or allowing him to pick and choose what he feels needs investigating. When you speak of “secret negotiations or under the table deals, then there is a problem. Some things seem to be worthy of coverup while others seem to be worthy of sacrifice. Reading the ombudsman’s reports I have always wondered how many complaints if any he turned down for whatever reason or referred to other agencies. THAT”S true power…..and too much for one man. And at this point I never knew if he spoke for the mayor, the chief or we the citizens.

  6. The copper made a point of putting Mayor Coles in jail for his misdeeds against the BPD.

  7. Interested Citizen
    Oct 18, 2013, 9:37 am


    Translation: Chief of Popo Whitewashing

  8. Interested Citizen
    Oct 18, 2013, 10:05 am

    The police departments tag team with the prosecutors, who tag team with the judges, to coerce and extract monies from both guilty and innocent defendants.

    It has become a self-serving and gluttonous monster that masquerades as “public safety”.

    It is spinning out of control as the craving for the resultant fines revenues escalates with the crumbling of municipal budgets and finances.

  9. Blah blah blah
    Oct 19, 2013, 9:58 pm

    Yea…the Ombudsman: Demeanor, demeanor and performance of duty. Read the report on”excessive force”. My grandchildren probably tackled me harder. Exonerated. Boise is dealing with extremes here. Either the coppers are saying #### upsetting the citizens and getting reprimanded, or God forbid, seem a bit surly to that 25 year old skateboarder . But something tells me that the issues that REALLY need to be addressed…….are not. At least not by the city. Maybe time will tell.

  10. blah blah…. what are the issues that you consider that really need to be addressed?

  11. How about we get an investigation into the killing of a dog to day…. but it will be another justified shooting….

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