Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, August 24, 2006

River Survey Results

River Survey Results

Boise, August 24, 2006 – Boise Police Chief Michael Masterson says in a recent survey of river floaters, a large majority rated their experience as “Awesome!” and felt very safe floating the river.

“We made a commitment to go back to the river to ask river users their opinions,” said Chief Masterson. “It appears by their comments that the changes made to protect the river and the safety of those floating have been effective and indeed, appreciated.”

A non-scientific survey of river floaters was conducted the weekend of August 11 - 13th.

Of the 398 floaters surveyed, highlights include:

  • A large majority, (84.7%) rated their float experience as “Awesome! It was great!”.
  • 60% said they felt extremely safe floating the river, another 36% said they didn’t give safety much thought and had no problems.
  • More than 60% said they would rate this years float experience better or the same as previous years. Another 33% hadn't floated in previous years.
  • About one in four floaters is visiting from out of state.
  • People of all ages are enjoying the float.
  • A large number (43.3%) were floating for their first time (maybe all those out of state guests!).
  • 14 (of 398 responses) suggested allowing alcohol on the river (approx. 3.5%).

Background: The summer of 2005, improvements were made by the city, meant to protect the Boise River and the large number of people floating the river during the hot summer months. The changes came as the result of citizen complaints about trash, and rowdy, sometimes drunken, obscene behavior. The changes included more trash bins and porta pottys at river float rest stops, better signage to educate floaters on river rules and etiquette, and a move by the City to enforce the local ordinance that bans open containers of alcohol on the river.

Last year, Boise Police, Boise Parks and Boise Fire mounted a major education campaign focusing on river safety and environmental protection that, for the first time, included police patrols on the river. Officers made many public contacts, however, few tickets were written, as officers focused on educating floaters to the changes.

Education / Enforcement Stats:

This year, patrolling the river focused, not only on education, but enforcement, with officers writing more tickets for illegal behavior. In 2006, 46 tickets were written for alcohol violations on the river compared to 16 last year. That figure is still well below the 94 alcohol violation citations written along the river in just one weekend in 2004.

Officers also continue to do many safety related educational contacts with 786 in 2006, as well as more than 1,000 general public relations and goodwill contacts with the public on and around the river float this summer.

2006 Boise River Float Enforcement Stats – June thru Aug. 12

Violation

Non-criminal

Warnings

Citations

Arrests

Totals

Safety Related

431

355

0

0

786

Alcohol Violation

2

112

46

4

164

Drug Violation

0

0

0

0

0

Juvenile Violation

2

46

0

0

48

Fish and Game

1

0

0

0

1

Littering/Dumping

17

22

0

0

39

Traffic

33

16

27

1

77

Public Relations

853

215

0

0

1068

Public Nudity

0

0

0

0

0

Public Urination

0

0

0

0

0

Misc/Other

29

138

22

4

193

Totals

1368

904

95

9

2376

Of the 46 Juvenile Warnings, at least 43 were for bridge jumping.

2005 Boise River Float Enforcement Stats – June thru Aug. 12

Violation

Non-criminal

Warnings

Citations

Arrests

 Totals

Safety Related

220

223

0

0

 

Alcohol Violation

32

78

16

0

 

Drug Violation

0

0

1

1

 

Juvenile Violation

24

47

0

2

 

Fish and Game

8

3

0

0

 

Littering/Dumping

21

7

0

1

 

Traffic

3

14

4

0

 

Public Relations

924

16

0

0

 

Public Nudity

0

2

0

0

 

Public Urination

0

0

2

1

 

Misc/Other

158

112

4

6

 

Totals

1390

502

27

11

1930

 

During three days in late July early August, 2004 (before alcohol & other changes)

  • Wrote 77 open container cites
  • Wrote 17 illegal consumption cites
  • Wrote 28 glass container cites
  • Wrote 5 cites for urinating in public
  • Made 15 arrests for various law violations