City Government

Ombudsman Office Cut In Half After 2 year Vacancy

The office of the Community Ombudsman that did so much to restore community faith and pride in the police department has been reduced to a part-time position, it was announced today. No official word, but it is probably the only city department to have its staff cut in half in recent years.
Natalie Camacho Mendoza
The new person in the renamed “office of police oversight” is Natalie Camacho Mendoza, an attorney. Mayor Dave Bieter said the position, which has been without a permanent employee for more than two years, was made part-time because the number of complaints about police misconduct has dropped.

The GUARDIAN sees the position much like that of a fire department. If the city had fewer fires, you wouldn’t see a reduction in the number of firefighters. The ombudsman office served as an insurance policy to promote good law enforcement.

Here is the official announcement:
Mayor David Bieter today named Natalie Camacho Mendoza, a Boise attorney with 26 years of broad legal experience, including civil rights, as director of the City of Boise’s Office of Police Oversight.

In her new role, Camacho Mendoza will take a central place in the City of Boise’s continuing success in building public confidence in the professionalism and accountability of the Boise Police Department and its employees. She will serve as the part-time lead of the city office, which includes a full-time staff member, responsible for investigating critical incidents and complaints of misconduct brought against police and law enforcement officers.

The Office of Police Oversight was formerly known as the Office of the Community Ombudsman. The Boise City Council approved the name change earlier this month to better reflect its purpose and duties. Camacho Mendoza’s appointment will be considered by city council members at their noon meeting on July 28.

“This office has played an important role in improving the transparency of our police operations and building strong community trust between the police department and the public,” said Mayor Bieter. “Natalie’s experience and perspective will help us build on that success by deepening accountability and establishing herself as a robust partner in our law enforcement effort.”

Mayor Bieter pointed to the deep decline in complaints and inquiries into police actions since the office’s creation as evidence of the success of city’s policing strategy. In 2014, the office conducted just six inquiries into complaints about police actions compared to 76 when the office was opened in 2000. In that time, complaints about police actions consistently dropped from year to year.

“Building trust and accountability in the important work of our police officers has never been more important,” said Camacho Mendoza. “I hope to build upon Boise’s progressive and successful community policing efforts and further deepen the strong ties between the department and the community.”

Camacho Mendoza, the founder and owner of Camacho Mendoza Law in Boise, has deep experience as a litigator in the areas of worker’s compensation defense and civil litigation, as well as experience in governmental relations and policy analysis. She also has deep experience as a leader and manager communicating and interacting across different communities of color, ethnic origins, cultures religions and socio-economic status.

Camacho Mendoza earned her law degree in 1989 from the Washburn School of Law in Kansas and has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Idaho State University. She has been an attorney and partner at law firms in Texas and Idaho, including work related to tribal law, migrant farm workers, immigration, insurance defense, business law, employee relations and criminal justice handling criminal defense and Tribal prosecution cases.

Camacho Mendoza’s appointment process included interviews with Mayor Bieter, Boise City Council members, community members and city staff. Because of the position’s law enforcement role, the process also included an extensive background check.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. There is plenty of money for MRAP’s (battlefield armored vehicles), SWAT teams more heavily armed than combat troops, new blacked out, intimidating, Darth Vader styled cop cars, but little money for oversight. I guess it aligns with the BPD’s new motto of Serve, Protect, Lead. They will Lead us to a Police State like George Orwell warned of in his book titled 1984. It is a nationwide trend.

    Official statistics now show that we are 55 times more likely to be killed by a cop, than by a terrorist. The weapons they tell us are to be used for our safety, always end up being used to enslave us, that is a historical fact. I think they need more oversight, not less.

  2. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 25, 2015, 12:13 pm

    Agree with J Smith. What is the statistic on how much likely we are to be killed by a cop than by a criminal?

    The lessening of complaints against the cops is because of the character of our recently retired Chief of Police. He ended the reign of terror here in Boise.

    The cops need to focus on corporate crime and leave people alone.

  3. Has she been an activist or a mainstreamer?

    Can we ask several of her former clients if they’d hire her again?

    Does she apparently hold or openly profess any socioeconomic, racial, and/or gender bias? (I’ve encountered a growing number of openly anti-white people lately)

    What’s her agenda if any while in office?

    What does she think is the reason that America has a greater rate of incarceration that any other nation on Earth? What does she think we should do about it?

    Can she tell us what is different about Boise vs. Portland, and why? Does she think this is good or bad?

    Can she be fair and effective for someone she finds offensive but also has a legitimate complaint?

  4. Here is a link to one of the many stories about the massive under-reporting by the government of police killings.

    “…928 people killed by police annually…”’re-55-times-more-likely-be-killed-police-officer-terrorist

  5. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 27, 2015, 3:15 pm

    Uh oh, Zippo is being persecuted by “anti-whites”. Here in Boise?

    White people hold all the cards, all the chips, all the get-out-of-jail-free cards, all the money, all the privilege. We should not be surprised if the oppressed are a little resentful.

  6. Think for Yourself
    Jul 28, 2015, 6:45 am

    According to J Smith, “official statistics” show that you are 55 times more likely to be killed by the police than by terrorists. The intended purpose of that statement is to make you believe that the police in the US are out of control and running around killing people at random and without justification. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. How about we look at the issue with some objectivity? First, the basis for J Smith’s statement is some research that is, at best, questionable and far from “official”. Even if that research were true, though, it suggests that just under 1,000 people are killed by the police annually in the US. To put that in perspective, that’s .0003% of the population. To add more perspective, you are far more likely to die from falling down, poisoning, fires/burns and choking on your dinner. The other glaring issue that J Smith leaves out is that the vast majority of incidents involving deadly force by the police are 100% justifiable. In other words, when an officer does use deadly force, it is to protect his or her life or the lives of the innocent. Let me add one final statistic. There is a way that you can be 100% sure that you won’t die at the hands of a police officer, though. It’s quite simple and requires only two steps: 1) Don’t CHOOSE to break the law; and 2) Even if you do choose to break the law, when you are confronted by the police, don’t assault an officer with a weapon and comply with his or her commands as directed. It really is just as simple as that !!

  7. TFY: This little porky won’t be fired or charged with a crime. Why not? I hope they at least teach him how to say Medford (view clip).

    I repeat, as I have many times. The PD in the USA is part of a larger business model that uses unnecessary violence, threats, and routine violation of rights to take money… it is a legislated cartel.

    I hope this new lady is up to the task… because we just lost the chief who was keeping the department inline fairly well.

    EDITOR NOTE–And in fairness we have to note we have not had any major signs of the BPD being “out of line” under the new Chief, Bill Bones.

  8. IF the USA is still considered a first world county, then our cops are killing our citizens at a insane rate compared to other first world countries.

    Our cops kill in days what other countries cops kill in years. Our cops have gone from peace keepers, to terminator units.

  9. According to the FULL article J Smith is referencing you are also 5882 times more likely to die from a medical error than terrorism, 33842 times more likely to die from cancer, and so on (with many other weird references). It doesn’t take into account that police are often called to these situations, because it is their job! Oh, and where are SWAT teams more heavily armed than combat teams?

  10. I don’t know if the police are generally “out of control” I do know that they go out of their way to be intimidating. I also know that my rights aren’t predicated on 1. not getting into trouble and 2. doing as I am told.

  11. TfY,
    It is odd that the support of LEO is always, “OBEY their command; despite time and time again, it is proven many LEO are BREAKING the law themselves.
    In the military when a superior officer gives an unlawful order, there is no requirement to obey.

    Perhaps, at some point, an injustice will occur to you or a family member and then you might “think” differently.

    You would have been called a Loyalist in our colonial days.
    In Russia and China you would be called a comrade.
    Now there are different names for such people.

    Death is only one consequence of bad cops.

    “Give me Liberty or Give Me Death”

  12. Let’s just take one example to disprove TfY’s opinion.

    Timar Rice was the 12 year old boy in Cleveland shot to DEATH by a cop.

    The cop rolls up to the boy within 20 feet and within 3 seconds, the boy is fatally shot– followed by police not doing anything for survival first aid.

    TfY Rules:
    1) don’t choose to break the law.
    Timar was not breaking the law. It is perfectly legal to own and use an airsoft (plastic pellets) gun. Might not be a good idea for a 12 year old, but it is legal. Timar did not raise the gun toward the officers.

    2) Don’t assault an officer. Timar did not assault the officers. He did not have the time or inclination to assault either officer in the case.
    3) really TfY presents 3 steps, not 2— Comply with with their commands. There was no time to make or comply with demands. “We’re here. Bang Bang!”.

    And it is all on video. That’s pretty good evidence to refute a liar police officer.
    Of course, that is just one example. There are lots of others, unfortunately most are not recorded on video, and it’s easy for a cop to say, “I was scared”.

    So TfY, there is proof. One can follow your stupid 3 steps and still get killed by a cop.
    Pretty simple, eh?

  13. Think for Yourself,
    here is another one for you to think about:
    But you are right, TfY- this guy broke the law- no front license plate, and he forgot his license, maybe Ohio has no alcohol in the front seat too. Three strikes?
    Violate Step #1 and you might DIE at the hands of a police officer, so says Think for Yourself.
    But he was following Step #3, complying with the direction to take his seat belt off.
    BANG. He’s dead now.
    Step #1 is important!

  14. Think for Yourself
    Jul 30, 2015, 8:35 am

    Easterner and J Smith….your distorted and biased views are so ingrained, that you obviously lack the ability to look at a situation with any objectivity. Yes, the Timar Rice situation was tragic. What you fail to mention, though, is that the young man was holding a weapon and had been pointing it at people, causing a citizen to call 911. The responding officers had no way of knowing whether that weapon was real or not. (And, if you look at the photos of the weapon, it absolutely looks real, even though it is not). Those officers’ actions are in no way indicative of the police being out of control. As for the University of Cincinnati officer, he is being charged with homicide and the justice system appears to be working just the way it should if that officer was indeed in the wrong.

    The police in the U.S. have literally millions of peaceful interactions with the public on a daily basis. When you cherrry pick a few tragic anomalies and then expect us to believe that is the “norm”, you are simply showing your complete lack of credibility. As for my “stupid” steps on how to not have a tragic encounter with the police….I stand by those steps because they do work 99.9999999999999 % of the time. (I admit, the one out of many millions of times that they don’t work doesn’t quite add-up to 100%, but you are more likely to be struck by lightning a dozen times than to be killed by the police).

  15. great link Bob!

    I’m sure everyone can agree the needless deaths are only part of the problem.

    Cops lying to cover up their abuses, fellow cops accepting it, police chiefs lying and supporting the abuses, and delinquent prosecutors “backing up their people ” are all just playing the game.

  16. TFY

    “The police in the U.S. have literally millions of peaceful interactions with the public on a daily basis.”

    Yep that’s true, but it’s far far far too many contacts initiated by the police with the intent of generating revenue for the cartel. I want police to sit in a little glass box until needed. It works very well for the fire department and fire extinguishers and a whole lot of other tools. Cops are now considered oppressive, dangerous, unstable, unpredictable, and not worthy of the public trust …by tens-of-millions completely law abiding American citizens… And that’s a big problem friend. As is the oppressive and growing cost of police departments. 25-30% of the entire Boise City budget!! That’s just stupid people.

    Great link Bob!!

  17. TFY,
    More likely to be struck by lightning a dozen times…. yeah good stats yo.

    I can look at it objectively when the Boise police SWAT busts into an apartment at 0 dark thirty, pops some noise makers, arrests innocent people by mistake,,, I OBJECTIVELY realize that could be me. And TFY, it could be YOU too.

    As for me, if someone breaks in to my castle, I have a firearm near my throne to defend myself as I expect anyone coming in 4:30 is an unwelcomed intruder AND I will choose to defend myself. Guess what would happen next? It’s not 12 bolts of lighting.

    TFY, On your Tamir points, the dispatcher told them it was a juvenile and likely a toy gun. Granted that looks like a real gun and the cops should treat it as such– a loaded gun and the person might fire it. Hey dumbass cops, if you treat it is REAL gun, you might want to maintain some distance and try to talk some reason into the person- you remember when cops used to shout “drop the gun”.. REALLY their fast close approach put the cops in danger. If it was a mental person, “hey thanks for driving up close, now I;ll shoot you through the windowshield.”

    There is no defense for such police in any of the recent national and now Boise cases.
    Thankfully no one was killed in that botched Boise invasion.

    Univ of Cin cop case– NO the system is NOT working like it should. He should have not been hired there to begin with. It is public, that his previous police employer did not recommend him for police work and to the effect said ‘he is not cut out for police work’.

    I agree with Zippo half of those “peaceful” encounters are cops jacking someone up to try to find drugs, dui, or intent on drumming up revenue. ALL violating the law.

    And, you don’t even need to be black—

  18. One thing I always enjoy is reading the comments from the trolls on this site. This morning zippo takes the cake for comment of the day!
    Wanting police to sit in a little glass box until needed just like the fire department is awesome. I bet there are many cops who would love to sit around and get paid to work out, cook dinner, watch football, all on the city’s dime, just like firemen.
    Zippo clearly lacks any fundamental knowledge of what police do vs fireman. Im no expert but I bet the purpose of police patrolling is to prevent crime from happening, and living in Boise it appears it works fairly well. I think the fire department does a similar thing around certain holidays by going around and seizing illegal fireworks…..Other than that I can’t think of to many ways a fire department can actively stop someone from burning their house down, so they sit and wait for the person to get drunk and make a grease fire.
    THe police though can help stop crime by being a presence and making criminals not want to take the chance of getting caught. But maybe zippo would prefer to just have violence erupt in Boise and wait until the officers can get out of the glass box to come fix the mess. Of course then you would just blog about how long it took them to get there……

  19. Think for Yourself
    Jul 31, 2015, 8:23 am

    If you honestly believe the role of the police in this country is to generate revenue, you are completely out of touch with reality. Nothing could be further from the truth. And, as for your bright idea of the police being used purely on a reactionary basis, that is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. The criminal element would have that figured out in a millisecond and they would be running rampant in short order. You would be well advised to keep your silly conspiracy theories to yourself my friend…..

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