Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, August 10, 2006

River User Survey

River User Survey

Boise, August 10, 2006 - Boise Police volunteers will ask folks floating the river this weekend to rate their experience. It's a follow up to the new public safety measures implemented along the river last summer.

Volunteers will be set up at the take out at Ann Morrison park on Friday and Sunday afternoon. They'll ask floaters questions including what amenities they used along the river, like rest areas, recycle bins or raft rentals, and what, if any, problems they saw, like bridge jumpers, anyone using alcohol or acting rude. Volunteers hope to get 400 surveys completed. The surveys will be used to assess what issues need addressed to assure the float remains a fun, safe family experience.

        Who: BPD Volunteers

        What: River User Surveys

        Where: Take Out, Ann Morrison Park

        When: Friday, Aug. 11 - 4:00 - 7:00 p.m., Sunday, Aug.13 - 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

(Interviews on this topic will be avialable on Friday, Please contact Charles McClure at 577-3814. For an interview Sunday, Boise Police Capt. Jim Kerns will be at the volunteer table at the park from 3:00 - 3:15 p.m.)

Also...

BPD Presents River Float Project to International Conference on Problem Solving.

Representatives of the Boise Police Department will present details of the Boise River Float project to the International Problem-Oriented Policing Conference coming up in September in Madison, Wisconsin. Conference organizers recognized the project for it's creative approach to reducing crime. The project was submitted by the city for an award at the conference. Although the project was not chosen for an award, conference organizers recognized the project for it's creative and proactive approach to problem solving, and say other cities may benefit from learning about the project.

Background on the River Float Surveys:

The surveys are a continuation of a river safety project that began last year. In the summer of 2004, citizens began complaining to the city that the float had lost it's family-friendly atmosphere because of drunken, rowdy behavior. For the summer of 2005, new rest areas, trash and recycling centers were added to protect the river's health, and police began new patrols on the river educating floaters about an alcohol ban and other safety laws.

The project was considered a success with the number of compliments the city received from the public, and Boise Weekly newspaper readers named the float Boise’s Best Family Recreational Destination last summer.

Citations written along the river also dropped dramatically last year; from June through August, 2005, only 27 citations were written along the river (16 were alcohol violations), compared to 126 citations written along the river in just one weekend in July of '04. Costs to patrol the river were also cut in half last summer from approx $101,000 in 2004 to approx. $53,000 in 2005.