City of Boise Proposes Update to Police Oversight

April 21, 2021

Boise is taking proactive steps to strengthen the relationship between residents and their police.

To increase accountability and transparency in civilian oversight of the Boise Police Department, the City of Boise is taking steps to update its civilian police oversight model to an Office of Police Accountability.

"Residents have told us they have confidence in the Boise Police Department and want the city to commit further to accountability and transparency," said Boise Chief of Staff Courtney Washburn. "The Office of Police Accountability will strengthen our civilian oversight in policing, grow community connections and continue to build on the trust between our community and our police department."

This model, if approved, will bring clearly defined roles for civilian oversight and structure to complaint investigation and auditing to strengthen accountability, increase transparency, and eliminate redundancy. It would leverage resources more efficiently and create an effective and approachable police oversight model that continues to partner with our community.

"This office was formed to ensure transparency and accountability for citizens and the police alike," said Council President Elaine Clegg. "These times require a review so that the police oversight model we are using continues to deliver on that goal."

The Office of Police Accountability will be formally established if approved by Boise City Council through an update to the Boise City Code. In the proposed model, the office will have a full-time director who will regularly review findings from the Boise Police Department Office of Internal Affairs and participate in critical incident investigations.

The Director would be responsible for reviewing investigations and retaining independent investigators for critical incidents when needed. The Office of Police Accountability would have clear oversight of the chief and command staff of BPD to create robust reporting practices and encourage real-time oversight to promote long-term systematic changes in policing.

The ordinance had its first reading Tuesday, April 20, 2021. While the ordinance makes its way through the process, the city will actively recruit a full-time director with strong investigative skills and develop the framework of policies and regulations to support the new office. Residents can continue to file complaints with the Office of Police Oversight during this time.

Contact: Mayor's Office Media Relations

(208) 972-8520 |

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