City Government

Boise’s Top Copper Investigated

Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee is the subject of an investigation apparently stemming from a physical incident with one of his subordinate officers. The investigation by the Idaho State Police has been reported locally by several media outlets as well as national media.

The GUARDIAN along with other media have been “tipped” repeatedly for several months.

Most of the reports from either confidential or anonymous sources
say Chief Lee attended a department shift “briefing” in the patrol division. Supposedly Lee demonstrated a “hands on” physical restraint on a Sergeant which resulted in some sort of neck injury.

This is were the actions of those involved get a bit murky and frankly don’t serve to lend confidence and trust in our city mothers and fathers who pledge to be transparent and manage our tax dollars and public servants.

Someone in authority, the police, city attorney, mayor’s office, or the sergeant decided the Idaho State Police needed to investigate. They would be an “outside agency,” but logically would investigate only a reported crime–in this case potentially battery.

When other media outlets queried ISP they were denied any information on an “ongoing investigation.” This served to confirm ISP was in fact involved in an investigation.

When KTVB sought information from the office of Mayor Lauren McLean they were told it was a “personnel matter” and no info was released other than a statement endorsing Chief Lee as serving with dignity and honor, adding no action from the Mayor was anticipated.

The chief has lawyered up with Charles Peterson as legal counsel. A source told the GUARDIAN that Lee will pay for the legal fees. The sergeant has filed a workers compensation claim for an alleged neck or spinal injury. At issue will be whether the officer “volunteered” or not to be the subject of Lee’s tactical demonstration.

The GUARDIAN questions the involvement of ISP in a “personnel matter” and it would appear from what we have heard for more than a month the incident has grown out of control, but there was no crime. If the sergeant was injured, he deserves to be compensated and treated for any injury. We have been told by reliable sources that he has been working normal shifts. Finally, commanders/supervisors should refrain from physical contact with subordinates, be they male or female.

Chief Lee comes from Portland and there has been noticeable grumbling from GUARDIAN readers and others on social media who are critical of the way police handled the riots, homeless, and crime there. Lee has told the GUARDIAN he came to Boise because he didn’t want to be a part of that situation in what he calls “that other city.” There is an element within Boise PD which is unhappy with the mayor’s choice of Lee and with Lee himself.

Since his arrival in Boise, Lee has hired several lieutenants from Portland, a captain from Oakland, California and a deputy chief also from the Bay Area.

Turns out the local BPD officers won’t apply for the command positions because they make more money with overtime than lieutenants (who don’t get overtime). They would also lose their union membership and have additional responsibility if they made the switch to “management.” It is not uncommon for officers to earn in excess of $100,000.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Chuck P? đź‘Ś

  2. Police officer doesn’t even break into the top 20 of most dangerous jobs (#22), which would explain why there’s no incentive to move into a safer management position at lower pay. Without a doubt Boise coppers have an even safer gig than their colleagues in Chicago, LA, Detroit, etc. The list in the below link puts the risk of different jobs into perspective.

  3. No new information here and heresay being attempted as news. What happened to “ GUARDIAN weighs in only when we get fired up at the motives and actions of the politicos”? Nothing to see here folks. Back to the weather.

  4. Generally “hands on physical restraint” moves are demonstrated in a mat room where participants are wearing gym clothing and standing on the mat flooring. Additionally, participants have stretched out before engaging in any demonstrations etc. The term volunteer in this case is problematic for the Chief. It is the difference between a training injury or a criminal battery resulting in an injury. The venue of this occurring during a pre-shift briefing in full uniform raises questions. Idaho State Police don’t investigate training injuries. Stay tuned.

  5. Was the demonstration for the purpose to show our public servants how to treat the public? Is the direction for these tactical moves toward the public coming down from elected public servant Lauren, the mayor, McLean or our BPD union?
    Maybe chief Lee learned NOT to treat the public in this way as it can cause unnecessary injure And a law suit?
    Seems like the treasure valley growth pains could be from unqualified and uncaring public servants than the increased population!

  6. Harvey keck
    Jan 20, 2022, 9:32 pm

    Maybe Funkhobo69 can tell these families how much safer it is to be an officer in Idaho.

  7. Hilarious Harvey Keck.
    That information proves the point for Funkyhobo.
    btw one of those on the list died of a heart attack- too many dangerous donuts!

    Stop overtime. Stop split shifts that encourage first responders to do other work when they should be relaxing and recuperating from their ‘tough job’.

    Unions are soooo liberal!

  8. Harvey Keck
    Jan 21, 2022, 3:11 pm

    Well Easterner, anyone that thinks it is hilarious when anyone dies is certainly not worth having a conversation with. May karma bring you all that you deserve.

  9. western guy
    Jan 21, 2022, 3:52 pm

    Train PD supervisors (sgts and Lt’s) to manage their forces better. Will cut back on OT pay significantly.

    But, wait, Lt’s were once grazing on the OT gravytrain, and SGt’s still are.

  10. $100k and our City likes to include police jobs as one of the categories when referring to what they call “Work Force Housing” – which is a more clever name to disguise low income housing.

  11. Harvey Keck
    Jan 21, 2022, 9:21 pm
  12. Easterner,
    It’s called Sudden Cardiac Arrest Syndrome. First responders including firefighters, police, paramedics are particularly susceptible because they often go from a near resting heart rate to a racing heart rate because of adrenaline dumped due to emergency situations. That coupled with interrupted sleep patterns, stress from family impacts due to rotating schedules etc. and the real dangers that some like to minimize means that first responders as a group have shorter life spans, more suicides and more ptsd than some people might think.
    I also might add, making light of anyone’s death, no matter what the cause, seems pretty juvenile. It isn’t always the bullet that gets you.

  13. Harvey keck: Surely there’s also a memorial page for Idaho roofers, pilots, garbage collectors and loggers killed in the line of duty?

  14. Pete, What ‘syndrome’ is it when a sheriff gets bucked off his horse during a parade?

    I wonder if ISP had to investigate local cops back then too.

    The stats don’t lie. There has only been a 1(?) on-duty death in Boise area, meanwhile plenty of ‘questionable’ citizen deaths/impacts at the action of coppers. Im sure Guardians historical perspective and police beat could correct that history.
    Conclusion: safer to be a cop in Boise than a citizen being approached by one. RIP Forrest Moore – sleeping in an alley and awoke holding a BBgun for personal protection.

  15. Nice deflection-

  16. BPD has had issues since I moved here 50 years ago. It used to be Garden City and BPD. Now it’s mostly BPD and with flare-ups at ISP (they used to be the gold standard). Don’t hear much one way or the other about the ACS. Maybe because the Sheriff is elected?

  17. Harvey, thank you for your link. It shows just how dangerous it is to be a cop in Id… and most places. Of the 8 listed in the last 20 years only 1 (Moore) could be considered as being a danger only cops face. We all know if the driver that killed Maser would have been a civilian that person would be facing charges… but since it was a cop it was just considered an accident. Being a cop is not dangerous… to anyone but civilians

  18. Mr. Shaner: Noticed the news of late? May want to re-think that.

  19. Caeth, are you referring to this news?
    CHICAGO (AP) — Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke left prison on Thursday after serving less than half of his nearly seven-year sentence for killing Black teenager Laquan McDonald —

  20. PD: More specifically, cops being shot at a rate of about one a day in the new year.

  21. Harvey keck
    Feb 4, 2022, 12:47 pm

    Caeth, I am sure the commenters on this story will all apply for the open police positions currently at BPD. It will be great to see how their vast knowledge of tactics, law, and human behavior will result in peace and tranquillity.

  22. Caeth, Where do you get this stuff? On a barstooL? More cops have died this year from COVID than being shot.

    5 Cops gilled by guns this year, by this unbias counter: 5 is too many but not 1 a day. So—-
    5 typical shootings + 1 “Inadvertantly” shot by another cop!

    A deputy sheriff shot an off-duty Vancouver police officer Donald Sahota at his house. A crazy story as more proof of Rick Shaner’s point.

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