Message From The Chief
A letter to our community. February 3, 2015
I have been granted an incredibly rare opportunity, the chance to serve as the Chief of Police for the City of Boise, the best city in America, and in what I firmly believe is the best police department in the Country. I would like to thank the entire community for providing me this privilege. For the past 22 years, the Boise Police Department (BPD) has provided me a career where I still look forward to coming to work each day and a fantastic place for my family and me to grow together. I very much look forward to the opportunity of giving back to the city and police department which has given me so much.
Boise enjoys an enviable relationship between its police department and community. We believe we are a part of our community and those we serve are friends, neighbors, family and all who enjoy living in the city we’ve chosen to call home. As I have watched events unfold across the Country, I have been deeply saddened by the damaged relationships between police and the people they serve. These incidents may be isolated and their root causes deep and complex, but as police leaders, it’s useful and wise for all of us to reflect on how these divides developed. It appears a lack of communication and failure on the part of police to engage with community members has played a role in creating feelings of anger, distrust and alienation. It will take years to repair those fractured relationships, but public safety depends on it and it is my deep hope and desire that healing will occur.
Policing is a social contract wherein a community empowers and charges members of the community, the police officers, with maintaining the safety of all citizens. Police are an extension of the social consciousness with a sworn duty to protect the rights and safety of those they serve. The role of a police department is to be an integral part of the community it serves, providing a foundation of safety to foster a more livable city.
In Boise, we continue to follow that path, the path BPD has taken over the past decade; working with you to earn your trust, forging cooperative and beneficial relationships and accepting only the highest level of service for all. Transparency, community involvement, an honest relationship with citizens and a genuine desire to create a better place to live will drive our decisions. We will work proactively with our citizenry to solve problems, providing pathways for partnerships instead of roadblocks, and always with a dedication to making Boise the most livable city in America.
Our Officers will, without hesitation, risk their lives for people they have never met. They will rush forward towards danger when every instinct tells others to flee. As life safety is a priority, so is the feeling of safety. Our officers are committed to working with you to solve community issues by employing new ideas, building partnerships with stakeholders, and keeping focused on the best interests of our neighborhoods safety.
Many of us are proud to have played a part as Boise has become a great city; a welcoming place for people from all walks of life to meet, to work and live and play. Our city has become an example of what a city can do to appreciate families as well as businesses, to re-energize neighborhoods and provide opportunities for employment to entertainment. But only a safe city can be vibrant and successful. Boise PD has also grown, and I’m proud to say, has become a leading example of what law enforcement and their community partners can do together.
While we have many successes, we are constantly looking for ways we can do even better. We seek best practices and new ideas from across the world and I will admit, we freely “borrow from the best” any great idea we believe we can implement and make work for us. As a department we will try new ideas and programs. We will learn from ideas that don't work as well as we’d hoped and continue to improve on those that do. We will move forward in taking Boise to a safer tomorrow.
Again, thank you for this opportunity to serve as your police chief and thank you for being the most important part of what makes Boise such a great place to live. It’s the incredible people of this city who inspire me to do all I can to make Boise the most livable city in America.
Your Police Chief
William L. "Bill" Bones