Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Deputy Chief Jim Kerns Retires

Deputy Chief Jim Kerns Retires

    Boise, July 14, 2011 - Boise native Jim Kerns retires from the Boise Police Department today as Deputy Chief of Operations. Boise Chief of Police Michael Masterson says the department is a better organization thanks to DC Kerns leadership.

    "Jim Kerns has made countless contributions to the Boise Police Department and to this community," said Chief Masterson. "Jim has often been considered the "face of community policing" through his experience in various assignments within the department and his involvement in many community causes over the years. With Special Olympics, his leadership, advocacy and support is witnessed in his words and his deeds. July 15, 2011 will be a very different day for those in the department, but Jim's retirement is well earned and deserved." 

    "It has been my honor to serve the citizens of Boise for the past 29 years. When I started working for the police department in August of 1982, I was a young, energetic man who wanted to make a difference in this community. Now years later I can look back upon my career and feel like I made a difference in my community and my department. It is now time for me to step aside and go onto the next phase of my life. Thank you for your support and leadership over the last several years of my career." Kerns wrote in his retirement letter to Chief Masterson and Boise Mayor David Bieter.

    "On behalf of the Boise City Council, your fellow city and Boise Police Department employees, and the people of the City of Trees, please accept my heartfelt appreciation for your long service to our community and my congratulations on your retirement," said Mayor Bieter in a letter to Deputy Chief Kerns. 

    "Your dedication to law enforcement over the past 30 years has been exemplary and your commitment to the well-being and safety of the citizens of Boise unwavering. You have demonstrated tremendous leadership in responding to a wide variety of challenges... Your many hours of volunteer work on behalf of community organizations have made a positive difference in the lives of countless people. I think I speak for everyone when I say you will be missed. Here's to many great years of retirement, and of course to many winning Bronco seasons!" said the Mayor.

    Boise Police Deputy Chief Jim Kerns is a long time resident of Boise, growing up in Boise’s North End.  Kerns attended North End schools and graduated in 1978 from Boise High School.  Kerns then attended and graduated from Boise State University in 1982.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration.  

    After graduation from Boise State, Kerns was immediately hired by the Boise Police Department.  He worked as an airport intern and BSU intern police officer till November 1983.  Kerns attended the Idaho POST Academy in November 1983.

    During his career, Kerns worked in numerous assignments, including serving as an instructor in Use of Force and Defensive Tactics, a Field Training Officer, Department Training officer, and School Resource Officer.  

    Kerns was promoted to Sergeant in August 1991.  As a sergeant, Jim served as an FTO supervisor, field supervisor, administrative sergeant, and a tactical team leader.  He advanced to the rank of Lieutenant in 1996.  As a lieutenant, Kerns served as the Special Events Commander, Field Training Program Commander, as well as a Watch Commander and assistant internal affairs investigator.

    Kerns was promoted to Captain in 2004.  As Captain he chaired the department awards committee, completed and implemented a problems solving effort on the Boise River Float, and sat on the Mayor’s Youth Task Force.  In 2007, Kerns was promoted to Deputy Chief of the Operations Bureau. As Ops Commander he managed a multi-million dollar budget with oversight of nearly 400 employees.

    Deputy Chief Kerns is a 1997 graduate of Northwestern Police Staff and Command College, where he was named the Franklin Kreml Leadership Award winner.  This award was voted upon by classmates as the most outstanding leader in the class.  Kerns also attended the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, class 208, in March 2002.


   Kerns has been active in the community his entire career.  He participated in youth sports activities, assisted with coaching duties while an SRO, and sat on the Board of Directors for East Boise Little League and Whitney United Methodist Church.  Jim is an active member of the Special Olympics Board of Directors and is currently the Director of the Idaho Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.  Kerns was inducted into the East Boise Little League Hall of Fame in 2002 and received the Boise State University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009.

    Deputy Chief Jim Kerns retires with just shy of 29 years of service with the City of Boise.  He plans to pursue his Master’s in Criminal Justice and hopes to teach at the college level.

    Deputy Chief Kerns wishes to thank his wife and children for the great support they have provided over his years of service.  Kerns says the credit for his success goes to his wife, Nancy’s undying love and support.