For the first time in its history, the Boise Police Department has a board of citizens offering advice.
While not an official “Police Commission,” Top Copper Bill Bones has called upon a dozen citizens of diverse backgrounds to form a “Community Advisory Panel” (CAP) so the department can have a better communication with the citizens.
The Panel serves as a resource for the Chief in the formation of strategies, development of community policing concepts, improvement of public services, and building public trust.
BPD received almost one hundred nominations from people willing to offer their time to help better serve the citizens of Boise.
“I truly appreciate your nominations and am grateful to serve a community where so many people are working to take part and make a difference,” said Boise Police Chief William Bones. Our police department is a reflection of the community we serve and it’s imperative that we include our community when setting direction and priorities for the department,” said Bones. “This panel has already proven its value by offering ideas and partnerships that will help us maintain a high quality of public safety and law enforcement services for years ahead.”
Here is a list of the members:
Dr. Willie Baber – Professor of Anthropology and on the NAACP Exec Board
Dr. Don Coberly -Boise School Superintendent and possesses a Doctorate
Shannon Decker – Speedy Foundation, very involved in suicide prevention
Erin Erkins – Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, strong ties to small business
Tracy Hitchcock – CEO of Create Common Good
Carolyn Holly – St Als, prior media
Drew Lorona – Founder of Treefort
Steve Martin – Regional Officer for PRIDE Foundation
Ericka Rupp – Dept of Health & Welfare
Andy Scoggin – Sits on the Catch board along with also Albertsons (large business)
Juan Saldana – Idaho Hispanic Commission
Phillip Thompson – President of the Black History Museum, past president of the Mosque
During the panel selection process, they recognized three areas which would require additional focus. Members of three additional subpanels will be called upon to provide feedback and guidance on examining diversity in Boise, assisting those with mental illness and those experiencing homelessness.
The GUARDIAN offers a heartfelt “thanks” for the gesture. We have advocated a citizen’s panel for 25 years and no prior chief, mayor or city council would provide the citizen voice which is standard for airport, parks, library, public works, zoning, and other city boards or commissions.
The BPD is the biggest department in the city with an annual budget of $63 million with 309 sworn police officers and a civilian support staff of about 100. It is also the biggest police department in Idaho except for the Idaho State Police.
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