City Government

Use of Force And Ombudsman Complaints

BREAKING NEWS: A real estate blog has just named Boise the #8 safest city in America. Looks like coppers are #8 and Bronco footballers are #22!

Due to the length of responses about Boise coppers as Chief Mike Masterson takes questions from readers in his last month of service, we will group the responses by topic. The Questions have been gathered in a previous post in the comment section.

USE OF FORCESeveral of the readers commented on issues relating to fear and mistrust of police, particularly when it comes to use of force. This would be a very long subject to talk about but I think it begins with Civility and Respect. We have nearly 300 officers who go out daily and make dozens of contacts with citizens, enforcing the law, resolving disputes, intervening in neighborhood problems, setting disputes and making arrests, etc. There are approximately a million contacts per year maybe many more, where Boise police officers are in contact with community members. Each one of those contacts is a “moment of truth” where our actions, words and behavior form a perception on the quality of service received and professionalism of our staff. I think it is important to consider the complaints received by the Boise Ombudsman over the last fifteen years (see statistics below taken from the OMB annual reports) ; noting that there has been a significant downward trend in complaints. We are not a perfect organization but we are a good one which strives to continuously improve our work and improve the relationships with those we serve, including those we arrest. And yes we make mistakes.

Many people see the end (like videos and complaint numbers) but seldom ask what are you doing as an agency (the means) to better relate to your community so there is less mistrust, better communication and openness. If you want to read more about how we go about those changes please visit HERE where I describe in detail how that change is occurring at the Boise Police Department.

Ombudsman complaints against coppers have gone from 160 in 2000 to 5 so far in 2014.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I’ve been called an a$$hole and much worse… to include threats of harm for my pointed, yet relevant, questions about the state of the State, County, and Local traditions & policy, and implementation of governance.

    Fortunately, there are a lot of people like me in the valley… and as a result our taxes are low, our crime is low, our CPI is low (except gas and groceries), our police and public officials are responsive! The overall quality of life is high.

    Just in case anyone thought otherwise, I like it here. Keep up the good work people! And as always, resist the evil temptation of failed liberal ideals… they are only successful in National Geographic and New Yorker articles.

    All that said, we need a non-cop and non-anti-cop ombudsman NOW! TeamDave Please pull head out and appoint and appropriate person.

  2. Downtrend in complaints could correlate to the uptrend in knowledge. We as a people are learning that complaining to those who are in control very rarely accomplishes anything. It is like a prisoner in Auschwitz asking a guard to investigate another guard…. its just not gonna happen.

  3. The ombudsman is not independent, in any substantive manner.

    Further, the local prosecutor never, ever, ever, finds probable cause to indict a popo.

    There is a structural problem here. The vast immunities bestowed on coppers and prosecutors has led to a reprehensible lack of accountability that must be changed.

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