City Government

Copper Talks Mayor And Former Captain Issues

Guest post
By Detective Guy Bourgeau
Local 486 board member Boise PD Union

Like all of you I was pretty shocked when news broke recently about our former co-worker Matt Bryngelson. At first I thought it some sick joke but it didn’t take long to figure out it was all true. I’ve known that man for 20 plus years and never could’ve guessed this would happen. I’d never even heard of these groups or knew who Daniel Vinyard was. Twitter was educating me quickly. The more I read, the more disgusted I was. My better half couldn’t even bring herself to read it at all.

I thought I could write a well thought out, big worded essay in this case but then that would’ve been insincere at best, so I spoke with my coworkers and decided the best course would be just putting it out there. I don’t know how to express this adequately but that is simply not how we think here at BPD. I was pretty sure early on that this incident would bring out all the haters saying “ I told you so” and I wasn’t disappointed. They showed up in force looking to reinforce any preconceived notions they already had. I wasn’t worried so much about those folks, despite my efforts to change hearts and minds, sometimes it just won’t happen. We are a part of this community and we are deeply invested in keeping it safe and beautiful despite the many challenges we continue to face.

I started my career in policing back east in 1993, it didn’t take long to realize that was a miserable place to work. When I came to visit Boise in 1998, I figured out quickly that this was a special place. BPD officers cared deeply about the community and I saw what professional policing looked like. I got hired in 2000 and never looked back. Since that date I’ve never seen anything that looked like biased policing or heard any of the beliefs held by Bryngelson. This is a pretty good place to be a police officer, it has great community support and we never fail to recognize that. Almost daily someone thanks us for being there at a football game or on the streets. It’s a great feeling that is not lost on us. It is something we take very seriously and when anyone does something to damage that trust, it hurts us all deeply.

What I did see following the recent revelation was department wide shock and disgust. I’m pretty comfortable speaking on behalf of all my colleagues that we are all incredibly upset and disappointed that we had been fooled all this time. The thought that somehow these are widely held beliefs department wide or in Idaho law enforcement are simply not true. I’ve read the stories that people post saying we will cover for each other, the “Code of Silence” and other conspiracy theories. It is simply crazy to believe that we are going to protect someone like that or any other misdeeds. I’m not about to risk my family or career for the stupid acts of another….. The simple truth is no one hates bad cops more than good cops. These are the ones that give us bad press and damage that trust. Not to mention the peer scrutiny we have in law enforcement is pretty rigorous. We are tougher on each other than anyone can imagine. We all cherish the trust the community has given us and when someone does something to damage that, we take it pretty seriously. I can use words like disgusting, condemnation, saddened, disappointed….. they all apply here. Mr. Bryngleson does not represent ANY of the hardworking officers of the Boise Police Department in any way, shape or form. It’s been a lousy week for all of us.

That brings us to the topic of our mayor. While I agree with her statements condemning Bryngelson and his actions, Mayor Mclean took it a few steps too far. To somehow indicate or imply there is a racist community living in the police department is stupid and insulting. To state we better not “Circle the wagons” is a ridiculous thing to say that only drives a wedge deeper into our relationship with the citizens we serve. Recent surveys show that our citizens give us a 95% satisfaction rate with the service we provide. That’s pretty good in my opinion. But the political grandstanding continues.

Mayor Mclean has indicated she wants to have a third party investigate us, as far as I’m concerned, we welcome that. We love transparency. I’m not sure I can say the same for Mayor Mclean. We have yet to learn who conducted the third party investigation into Chief Lee and we certainly know that City Hall did a horrible job taking our legitimate complaints about Chief Lee very seriously. Transparency certainly wasn’t the word of the day in that case. As a matter of fact, the OPA report still hasn’t been released despite city ordinance requiring it to be publicly posted. So I don’t have a lot of faith in City Hall and Mayor Mclean, it looks like she is more interested in distracting from her failures by casting doubt on what is truly an excellent police department.

I’m not looking to pick a fight or get into a back and forth with anyone and I’m sure people will disagree with some of the things I’ve said. I’m ok with that. I will say this city is our home and we truly love to serve our community as professionally and fairly as possible. We will always condemn any hatred, racism and bigotry to the fullest extent possible. That is one thing that will never change.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Night Trader
    Nov 28, 2022, 1:45 am

    I, too was blindsided by the Daniel Vinyard news. However, it was quite a breath of fresh air to read Detective Bourgeau’s response. He represents the quality of Police or any other of those whom we trust with so much. Unfortunately, life has shown that as a pie-in-the-sky look at life. So again, a heartfelt thanks to you, Detective Bourgeau. Oh yes, maybe we need to take another look on election day at our current Mayor!

  2. western guy
    Nov 28, 2022, 8:54 am

    Very thouightful remarks by Detective Bourgeau. I share same thoughts regarding these ‘mayor-led investigations’. Where is the leadership from her office? And the very compliciet City Council?

  3. The POLICE UNION REP says, “It is simply crazy to believe that we are going to protect someone like that or any other misdeeds.”

    Plleeeese tell of us case where the co-workers outed a racist cop? It certainly exists. Studies and plenty of examples show it does exist. So if it does exist from the last 20 years there must be a case where the cops were actually policing themselves.
    Prove it! Otherwise, the statement is another lie.

  4. Circling the wagons
    Boise Guardian from March 10th, 2013:
    “Police and prosecutors are circling the wagons in anticipation of indictments against local coppers in the near future.”

    Editor, your guest says that is a ridiculous thing to say.

    EDTOR NOTE–Thanks for being such a loyal and longtime reader.

  5. Notta. That is called ‘search’. Crazy how your words popped up to prove the mayor correct in her expectations. ha.
    More cop circles. Not cRop circles but cop circles.
    “Tuesday morning we were going to $$$$circle the wagons$$$, so to speak, get things together and figure out what’s going on {our story],” Harvey said. Detective Jeff Harvey was a vice president of the Spokane Police Guild UNION.

    Tuesday was three days after a deadly police incident. Several officers were called into a room with a UNION attorney to fill out their incident reports about the Zehm confrontation.– to get all the statements correct.

    That was from a 2012 case in Spokane where a man was killed by police. No weapons. No Crime. A person with an impairment.
    We better circle the wagons!
    EXACTLY the same as the Chief Lee ordeal- a union attorney did the depositions for those saying there was a problem. Others in disagreement used a different counsel.
    The mayor is simply calling no BS because cops are notorious for it when their badge or pension is on the line.

  6. I have to agree with Guy in regards to Boise Mayor. Her decisions on policing, housing and spending tax payer $ show signs of ignorance. That ignorance is probably super-sized by surrounding herself with yes people.
    I’ve never thought about what a public servant should or shouldn’t do after hours. As long as laws are followed and the only baggage they bring to work the next day has a doughnut in it.
    As far as direction to our BPD employees I would think union Local 486 protocol rules?
    I find it concerning that police unions, throughout our country, determine police officers are following protocol when body cam video shows a murder? Maybe these are the officers that bring more than doughnuts in their baggage.

  7. It is nice to see reasoned comments on here from Night Trader, western guy, and Frank. Hopefully the vast majority of Boise Residents can see past the rhetoric of some people that believe every officer is some kind of racist, quick on the draw, low IQ officer. The local officers I have met sure seemed to be very invested in the wellbeing of their community.

  8. Copwatch com
    Nov 29, 2022, 3:15 pm
  9. Hey Copwatch, the topic is local officers. Other than the one former officer have you got any local data?

  10. Boise resident
    Nov 30, 2022, 5:57 pm

    Harvey – Of course Copwatch has no local data…there is none to be had. I’m confident the mayor’s outside investigation will show that once and for all. What I find interesting is that the mayor was lightning-fast to respond to the Bryngelson situation, yet she basically ignored over a years’ worth of valid and extremely serious complaints about the former Chief of Police, Ryan Lee. I wonder why that is? The hiring of Lee and lack of action when it became clear he was trouble was a huge mistake that will end up costing the City of Boise a ton once all the settlement checks are written to those who he mistreated, quite flagrantly. The mayor and City Council are complicit in that debacle and need to be held to account.

  11. The union reps says they love transparency. Yet, records and reports of racial profiling and complaints are not public records because they are personnel matters.

    Matters of police, violating civil rights, should not be hidden from the public.

  12. western guy
    Dec 2, 2022, 8:28 pm

    On to the next City Hall scandal: Office of Police (Un)Accountability.

  13. George, what are you talking about? Reports of racial profiling are not personnel matters. Those would be allegations of civil rights violations, open to the public and any attorney would file a violation of civil rights 1983 civil action. Personnel matters are violations of policy and discipline matters.

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