Despite repeated promises to hire an ombudsman to review “critical incidents” and other complaints within the Boise Police Department, Boise’s mayor and city council has been more concerned with squeezing 10 foot three inch buses into 10 foot traffic lanes.
More than a year ago Councilor Maryanne Jordan told the GUARDIAN, “The position is important to the community. Next steps should be forthcoming shortly.” Rather than providing an ombudsman, the council has been fighting with ACHD over hockey pucks and parking meters.
We equate the ombudsman–or a police commission–to an insurance policy or fire department. You hope to never need their services, but being “covered” makes good sense.
Coeur d’Alene’s new chief has a great idea: Have citizens serve on a review board. The GUARDIAN has advocated civilian participation with the coppers for more than 25 years. Here is the Coeur d’Alene Facebook post:
Coeur d’Alene Chief of Police Lee White is seeking citizens interested in serving on a Use of Force Review Board. Since his hiring in September of this year Chief White has made it clear the appointment of civilians to this board is a priority. “Citizens serving in this capacity will increase transparency, accountability, and public input into police operations.” said White.
This standing board will meet quarterly with police personnel. The members will rotate in order to have more citizens involved. Interested citizens will receive information on basic law enforcement training as well as case law as it pertains to use of force, what constitutes excessive force, and police policies and procedures.
One of the positive notes former Ombudsman Pierce Murphy left behind was a huge reduction in complaint…and police shootings. Murphy now is working for Seattle attempting to clean up that department which is under U.S. department of justice orders.
All of this has increased urgency with the upcoming retirement of Chief Mike Masterson who will leave as the second longest serving chief in the department’s history. John Church served from 1968 to 1983.
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