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Interim Boise Police Chief says city needs 129 more cops in the next five years

Boise Police Department Car Logo
Lacey Daley
Boise State Public Radio

The Boise Police Department has been the subject of much conversation of late, with the dismissal of the last police chief, an independent investigation into the actions of a former captain with racist views on the force and upheaval at the office of police oversight.

On Feb. 28, the conversation turned to the next five years for Boise Police. Interim Chief Ron Winegar told the Boise City Council that his hopes for the next five years include an expansion of the downtown police station and an addition of a new station.

“We know that an additional police station likely somewhere in the eastern part of the city, will allow us to safely strategically locate officers to lower response times,” Winegar said.

But the big eye-opener was the chief’s request for staffing for the next five years.

“So right sizing across all divisions to ensure that we have patrol officers responding to emergency calls. Detectives to solve criminal activities and adequate staffing, to continue community-oriented policing, efforts to build relationships of trust and reduce crime long term. That number ... and I even put it in bold, even though I was afraid it might shock you: 129 new officers.”

The department is currently authorized for 333 and the interim chief said the department needs 462. Again, over the next five years.

Meanwhile, the fire chief told city council his department needs about 110 additional personnel. Council members reacted with caution, asking for more detail. Specifically, what outcomes would drive such a personnel increase.

Find reporter George Prentice on Twitter @georgepren

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