Boise Police Department

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

After two years without one, Boise will soon have its next ombudsman in place.

Mayor David Bieter announced Friday that attorney Natalie Camacho Mendoza will assume the role on August 3, pending city council approval.  Council members are expected to approve the selection at their meeting Tuesday.

Camacho Mendoza is originally from Pocatello.  She’s been in Boise for 20 years and has practiced law for 26.  Her experience includes work as a defense attorney and prosecutor. 

Yannick Meyer / Flickr

Do you know what your kids are doing online? That’s the question Tim Brady asks when he talks about his work protecting children from internet predators. After nine years shielding kids, this Boise Police detective has some advice for parents when it comes to the Internet and safety.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

This story includes graphic descriptions and language that may not be suitable for young audiences; some may find this content offensive.

Police Detective Tim Brady sits at his desk, surrounded by computer screens. He flips on a monitor and an instant-chat session is on the screen, this one recorded a few years ago. It is one of thousands of hours the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children unit, (ICAC) has spent online.

“Within less than a minute I’m bombarded with all these people that think they’re speaking with a 13-year-old girl,” Brady says.

The City of Boise is taking applications for a new ombudsperson to help oversee the Boise Police Department. But unlike in the past, the person hired for the position will be part-time rather than full-time.

The city says the job entails investigating complaints of misconduct against police, as well cases that involve officers using deadly force.

City spokesperson Mike Journee says a lack of work led to the change.  

Authorities in southwest Idaho have identified the man shot and killed by a Boise police officer.

The Ada County Coroner's Office in a statement Tuesday says 26-year-old Michael K. Casper of Boise died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Authorities say Officer Jason Green fired at Casper after Casper pointed a weapon at another officer.

Green has been placed on leave, and the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force is investigating.

This post was updated at 9:12 a.m.

Boise Police now say it appears a shot fired by Officer Jason Green hit the suspect.  The man's name isn't being released.  Police also say there's now evidence the suspect had fired shots from the home into the neighborhood. 

Original story

Roadsidepictures / Flickr Creative Commons

When someone is experiencing a mental health crisis, police are often among the first groups to respond. The Boise Police Department (BPD) has made an effort to get all its officers trained in how to de-escalate a potentially violent situation and connect those in crisis with the right professional.

As of last fall, the department had fully trained a quarter of its officers in crisis-intervention.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Mike Masterson's office is almost stripped bare as he puts 10 years of papers into boxes on the floor. Boise’s Police Chief is retiring after 38 years on the force.

mangpages / Flickr

Jack works undercover, buying drugs from Boise dealers. He is a Boise Police Department detective, and he's seeing a troubling increase in the number of people overdosing on synthetic drugs.

BPD has found that these new man-made chemicals are replacing better known street drugs, like ecstasy or LSD. And officers are worried that users are being duped into taking the more potent synthetics.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

After several weeks of reported prowler sightings on and around the Boise State University campus, officials will host an information session Wednesday for those in the campus community who may be concerned with their safety.

The university announced the forum in an email Tuesday morning. Police again investigated calls early Tuesday regarding suspicious people on and around campus.  A prowler has been reported in women's bedrooms.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Con artists are giving new life to an old scam. The Boise Police Department is warning Treasure Valley residents to avoid becoming victims.

The Boise Police Department says scammers are using fear and the threat of arrest to get victims to part with their money. BPD first reported on a version of this scam last November.  Now they say scammers have escalated their efforts to con people out of money.

Here's how the scam works:

Boise Police Department

A 20-year-old Boise man is accused of being a prolific graffiti vandal linked to 342 incidents causing about $217,000 in damage.

Authorities tell KTVB-TV that Matthew Erickson Armstrong faces five counts of felony malicious injury to property.

Armstrong was already in the Ada County Jail on a probation violation when the new charges were made Tuesday.

Police say he targeted homes, businesses, schools, fences and more.

Boise Police Department Capt. Steve Myers says graffiti is one of the most commonly complained about crimes in the city.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Two Boise men have been indicted on federal hate crime charges for allegedly assaulting an African-American man last year. U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson says the victim, known in court documents as D.L., was severely beaten in October 2013 at the Torch 2 Lounge in Boise. Authorities are not releasing the victim's name or age to protect his privacy.

Jonathan Henery, 28, and Beau Hansen, 30, both of Boise, have been charged with a hate crime. Olson says the assault was racially motivated. She says her office, the FBI, and the Boise Police Department have been partners in this case.

No charges will be filed against Boise police following a 22-month federal investigation into allegations officers stole items from searched homes.

U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson in Idaho in a letter to Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson says there isn't enough evidence to prove officers violated Fourth Amendment rights of individuals.

The Idaho Statesman in a story on Friday reports it obtained the Dec. 18 letter through a public records request.

The investigation included a grand jury probe that ended without indictments.

Boise's top police officer said democracy failed at a Senate State Affairs hearing in which he and other law enforcement leaders were blocked from speaking about a bill allowing concealed-carry on college campuses.

Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson signed up to talk about his opposition to the bill, which passed 7-2 Wednesday morning. The chief was set to argue concealed carry permit holders lack the training and qualifications needed to react correctly during a mass shooting.

phoenixar / Flickr Creative Commons

After two Boise cyclists were killed by cars this fall, bike safety is getting renewed attention. Cyclists without lights are even less visible to motorists during their evening commutes with the time change.

The Boise Police Department has noticed, and has started a new initiative to make cyclists safer in the dark.

“Ada County Highway District has a supply of bike lights," says Deputy Chief Pete Ritter. "We have given them out to officers to when they contact cyclists or if they see cyclists who appear to need a light so they can hand them out.”

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Early Thursday morning a driver ran a red light in downtown Boise and struck a bicyclist. The female cyclist was taken to a local hospital and was being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Boise Police arrested 18-year-old Alexander Thackery after responding to the collision. Witnesses said the driver left the scene after the crash at 8th and West Myrtle Streets at 7:11 a.m.

The Boise Police Department is responding to an increase in drivers who speed through red lights. The decision to use handheld cameras comes after calls from residents who complained about seeing people run red lights.

Pierce Murphy, City of Boise
City of Boise

The City of Boise’s longtime ombudsman is officially off the job.  Tuesday was Pierce Murphy’s last day. He was recently hired to serve in a similar capacity in Seattle.

Murphy joined the City of Boise in 1999, soon after the creation of the ombudsman role to help oversee the police department.

A series of events involving the Boise Police Department in the mid 1990s – including several officer-involved shootings – had eroded public trust in police.  Today, Murphy says residents and city leaders have a much better relationship with the BPD.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Boise dog owners will have the chance to talk with city representatives beginning today at Morris Hill Park. Boise Parks and Recreation – along with the Boise Police Department and Animal Control – will be visiting 10 off-leash areas for dogs. In the past, unleashed dogs have been a contentious issue in the city.

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