Message from the Chief

A Letter to Our Community

The essence of a community is its people. The people of Boise include its visitors, those who come to work, those who come to play and the residents of our great city. Some are new to Boise and some have called Boise home for a lifetime. Creating a safe place for everyone to work, play and live is at the core of what a police department works to achieve. Our mission at BPD is to Protect, Serve and Lead our Community to a Safer Tomorrow. This is more than words on paper and I believe you will find every member of BPD not just knows these words but can tell you what they mean to them personally.   

Police chief
Chief Bill Bones

As Boise Police officers we believe in service to others, we look for those in need and care for those who might not have a voice to cry out for help. A Boise Police officer’s first duty is protecting others. Police officers make decisions based on a philosophy called “priorities of life” and that often means putting others before themselves. Risking their own lives to protect someone they have never met is something you will see every officer do many times over in a career. Even more often you will see policing is not the simple black and white of a legislative code. It is a police officer’s job to also carry out the intent of law and understand the core concepts of our constitution. Above all else, protecting fundamental human rights is our innate duty and is the basis for how we exercise the responsibility we are charged with by you, our community.   

As a police chief I spend much of my time not just thinking about today’s trials but rather, what is down the road. What are the challenges of tomorrow which we need to prepare for as an agency today? Many of those thoughts center around Boise’s and surrounding cities growth to become a large metropolitan area. With growth comes both opportunity and the danger of losing the “something special” we Boisean’s treasure. That small town feel of how people treat each other is so seldom felt in a larger city. No one wants to risk losing our current positive energy and the feeling of being part of community. There is no hiding from growth, Boise continues to make national top ten lists again and again and is often at the very top. The valley will continue to grow in population, the challenge is in continuing to move in positive directions. 

I do believe one of the many key factors to that something special in Boise is a foundation of safety. We have a city not just with low crime rates but with a sense of safety. Boise is a place where people feel safe to spend an evening downtown, let their kids ride their bikes through the neighborhood or simply sleep in their beds at night. Those factors don’t always exist in many large urban areas and taking them with us as we grow into a larger city requires creativity, planning and hard work. 

Police chief speaking at lectern

The proven path to success for BPD in creating a safer tomorrow is through community policing. Traditional community policing includes attending neighborhood meetings, putting officers on bikes, taking time to interact with kids, partnering on prevention programs, maintaining quality of life and an approach of problem solving. For BPD these are strategies we have employed for well over a decade and will continue undertaking.  Future success around unseen bends in the road however will require a much deeper commitment to community policing. We need to work not just in partnership, but in concert with community organizations. Together we can continue to respond to the needs of our city by taking out of the box approaches and finding solutions to address the root of larger social challenges. It is from those conversations and efforts the ideas and programs will evolve which will create success in maintaining our path forward. 

BPD is a reflection of Boise and what we do reflects on the very identity of our City. Failure is not an option. Our officers will run into danger in response to a call for help and we will ensure we are ready for new challenges of the future. In both cases we believe it is our duty to respond and we will not falter. The men and women of the Boise Police Department are committed to giving our next generation the caring community where have been blessed to raise our families. I have been granted a rare opportunity with BPD. It’s an incredible organization made up of talented, dedicated people committed to their community. We also have a community who supports us and works with the us to make Boise a better place for each and every resident. Please accept my sincere thanks for this opportunity to serve as your police chief and give back for all Boise has given myself and my family.

Your Police Chief,

William Bones

Protect, Serve and Lead our Community to a Safer Tomorrow

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