Boise Police Department talks about crime and community policing

BOISE, Idaho – Recent events, including the Boise Mall shooting, have left some in the community wondering if Boise is becoming more and more dangerous.

The Idaho Black History Museum held a discussion with Boise police officers, a local rabbi and former state senator and social worker Cheri Buckner-Webb on Sunday to address those concerns.

“The police and I, as we walked around the community – as I spoke to people – the uneasy feeling that arose as a result of the events of the last month, you could sense it,” said the head of Boise Police. said Ryan Lee.

This unease is what prompted the Idaho Black History Museum to host this discussion.

“I think the most important thing is that all someone’s worries, it’s not our intention to say, ‘Hey, these worries are unfounded or unnecessary’, but actually put them in. perspective of what really happened, “executive Phillip Thompson said of the director of the Black History Museum in Idaho.

As we reported, BPD said despite recent events, crime in Boise is on a downward trend and major service calls are not necessarily crime related.

From January to June 2021, most calls were for social checks, citizen assistance, business burglary alarms, issues with a topic, domestic disputes, suspicious vehicles, accidents, theft reports, and news. additional.

Idaho News 6 screenshot

Chief Lee said each BPD officer receives 40 hours of crisis intervention training to equip them to handle calls that could be related to a mental health crisis, “It’s in most other police departments. C ‘is the norm, 40 hours of training means being part of a specialized crisis intervention team. “

BPD has a specialized behavioral health team with two behavioral health workers and two civilian social workers who follow up after a mental health crisis call that another worker has answered … Officers can also call them to get for help while answering one of these calls.

Someone who attended Sunday’s discussion asked why this team was not the one answering the mental health crisis calls to begin with.

“We don’t have the staff where these officers and clinicians are the ones who go initially. Also, these clinicians are civilians and we have to be careful to put them at risk from certain calls,” Lt. Jeff Niiya said.

Chief Lee said they are considering expanding the team, but current labor shortages are affecting both the recruitment of police and mental health professionals.

As we reported over the summer, BPD has a community policing service. They are agents whose entire job is to be in the community and interact with people.

It’s about making sure the community is monitored the way they want it to be and staying ahead of the small issues that could turn into big issues.

“They have to do their part and build bridges, but the community – we have to talk,” Rabbi Daniel Fink said.

Boise residents can contact the police to find out who is the police officer assigned to their neighborhood. BPD said it has also tried to make sure that each neighborhood association knows who the police officers are assigned to it.

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