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In first report, new head of Office of Police Accountability notes 'lack of professionalism'

A grey sign for the "Office of Police Oversight" on a red brick background.
Julie Luchetta
Boise State Public Radio News
The Office of Police Accountability, previously the Office of Police Oversight, independently investigates critical incidents in the Police Department.

It’s been six weeks since Nicole McKay started her role as the head of the Office of Police Accountability. In her first report to the City Council on Tuesday, McKay said that she had started assessing the backlog of unresolved complaints.

“What I see consistently so far in this small sampling is just really a lack of professionalism,” she said.

The purpose of the office is to independently investigate critical incidents in the police department. She said engaging the public professionally will decrease complaints.

“The individuals that have made contact with the OPA office, more often than not, are frustrated with a lack of communication and respect for the position that they are in,” she said.

McKay said the office should focus on customer service and professionalism training. She added she was working on figuring out the extent of the complaint backlog, and would ask for more resources if needed.

“If these have been sitting for a significant amount of time, that's unfair to our constituents who are still waiting,” she said.

Part of the issue with assessing the scale of the backlog, she explained, is the inconsistency in the tracking system used before her arrival.

“If we get another month into this process and we're still not making significant gains on that backlog, I do intend to propose hiring a temporary employee that could come in and assist,” she said.

McKay was hired in August following a tumultuous few months for the Boise Police. The previous OPA director, Jesus Jara, was fired last December and is suing the city for wrongful termination.

McKay will give updates to the council in January and a full report in June.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.

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