Lt. Robert Clements, after serving 11 years as the head of Idaho State Police Department's Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau, is set to retire early next week.
As bureau chief, Clements managed a department responsible for all establishments selling or producing alcoholic beverages, including bars, taverns, pubs and restaurants across the state, to ensure conformity with Idaho State Code, sometimes to the chagrin of Idaho business owners.
Clements began a law enforcement career that spanned 31 years in 1982 with the Valley County Sheriff's Office, and joined ISP in 1986. In 1989, he became a defensive tactics instructor and crash reconstructionist, followed by a nine-year stint with the Commercial Vehicle Safety/Hazmat division, during which he initiated the Environmental Crimes Investigation Program.
According to Idaho State Police, Clements plans to divide his time between Arizona and Idaho.
Early Sunday morning, two teens were killed and a third critically injured when the Hyundai Tiburon in which they were traveling went off the road near Table Rock.
According to Ada County Sheriff's reports, it appears the 17-year-old female driver failed to negotiate a curve, forcing the vehicle off the road and down an embankment before coming to a stop about 100 feet below the road.
Both the driver, of Boise, and a 17-year-old male passenger, of Meridian, were ejected and pronounced dead at the scene. A third victim, a 17-year-old male passenger, of Boise, was also ejected and transported to Saint Alphonsus with critical injuries.
A fourth passenger, a 20-year-old male of Boise, was the only passenger wearing a seatbelt and walked away from the crash with a minor hand injury.
The names of the victims have not been released.
In a two-week blitz to target aggressive drivers, Boise Police handed out nearly 1,500 citations for speeding, insurance violations, failure to use seatbelts, driving with a suspended license, and 27 other violations, including running through stop signs and red lights.
From Aug. 2-13, Boise Police said they "gave very few warnings" during a specifically targeted campaign to "keep motorists safer during the deadliest driving month of the year - August."
Statewide, the campaign is called "Toward Zero Deaths" and includes billboard, radio and television spots, in addition to extra manpower to curb aggressive drivers.
"It wasn't hard for officers to find aggressive drivers and write them tickets," said Officer Kyle Wills of the Boise Police Motors Unit. "That means we all have a ways to go toward remembering that our safety and the safety of our loved ones begins with our driving, not the other guy's."
The Boise Police Department's Office of Internal Affairs has issued a formal report, detailing the number of citizen complaints against BPD.
The new survey reveals 360 investigations into citizen complaints during 2011, nearly double the number of investigations in 2010 and nearly triple those of 2009. BPD Chief Mike Masterson told members of the Boise City Council on Tuesday that the numbers were "more accurately captured in 2011 because of a new system implementation."
"Better complaint intake and tracking capabilities is not reflective in a change in performance but rather gives us a better ability to confidently and accurately document all citizen complaints and inquiries," said Masterson.
But one of the starker elements of the report details uses of force. The Boise Police Department is required to conduct a review of an officer's use of force when the subject is injured or complains of injury, a lateral vascular neck restraint is used, firearms are discharged or intermediate weapons (including baton, flashlight, K-9 or tasers) are used. In 2011, 230 incidents involving suspected "types of force" were investigated, compared to only 78 in 2010 and 58 in 2009.
Additionally, during 2011, 68 citizen complaints were "sustained;" in other words, sufficient evidence proved the allegations. Thirty-five were driving violations, 14 involved performance of duty, 14 were for failures to report incidents, two were for rudeness and one was for use of force.
After rising through the ranks to become Boise's first female deputy chief of police, Patricia Braddock will retire today, anxious to spend more time with her husband, six children and 12 grandchildren.
As commander of the Administrative Support Division, Braddock oversaw the Finance Crime Analysis, Computer Support, Public Records, False Alarms, Personnel, Fleet and Supply service units. Braddock was also instrumental in the department's successful bid to provide law enforcement for Boise State. She was promoted to deputy chief in April 2007.
Since Braddock was hired onto the BPD, sworn staff has increased from 142 to 325 full-time positions, the civilian staff has increased from six to 82, and the department budget has increased from $6 million to $44 million.
If you're walking or driving near Bronco Stadium today [Thursday], yes, there are weapons being fired but local law enforcement assures the public that firearms are only using simulated air munitions.
Boise Police is hosting a multi-agency tactical training exercise in and around the concession concourse on the second level of Bronco Stadium until 5 p.m.. The training, funded through the Department of Homeland Security, is geared to prepare emergency responders to protect "large entertainment/sporting venues." The training area is cordoned off with yellow police caution tape.
Police emergency response vehicles, including a BPD mobile command post, are positioned in the west stadium loading dock. SWAT team members are wearing tactical clothing and equipment, including training firearms.
According to a statement from Boise State, "those in the proximity of Bronco Stadium may hear loud sounds and noises that simulate gunfire during the training."
Those wondering what all of the State Police vehicles were doing surrounding the Statehouse today can rest assured that there was no emergency.
Instead, officers were attending graduation ceremonies of the Idaho State Police Advanced Training Class. Upon graduating, the newest troopers will be serving in districts throughout the state.
On Sept. 12, The Ada County Sherriff's Office announced that all jail visits will now take place via video chat. The Ada County Jail Video Visitation system utilizes software created by Boise-based technology firm Blackfin.
"In May of 2010, we put them in and started using them," said Andrea Dearden, public information officer for ACSO. "We installed the stations in the dorms to start. That was the first place we had them. Slowly but surely, we got them into more areas of the jail. We tested it, adding more people and more users."
Using Acer laptops equipped with webcams and microphones, inmates can now chat from their dormitory with friends and family anywhere in the country. Each inmate is given two 25-minute sessions every two weeks, for a total of 100 minutes each month.
Three Idaho State Police employees are on paid leave and an investigation has been launched into activities in the state police forensics laboratory system.
Late Wednesday, state police officials said the allegations against the trio are not criminal in nature nor have they compromised any current or past casework. However, the three are charged with inconsistent behavior with ISP procedures or lab standards. Officials said they did not expect the issues were any more widespread than the three individuals.
While the 2010 Idaho Legislature failed to pass a ban on driving-while-texting, municipalities have decided to take up the issue. Tuesday evening, the Meridian City Council will consider an ordinance that would fine drivers $75 for their first and second violations of texting behind the wheel. A third of subsequent violations would result in a misdemeanor charge, punishable by a fine of up to $300, up to 90 days behind bars, or potentially both.
A driving-while-texting ban is already the law in the city of Twin Falls. And the Boise Police Department bars employees from using cell phones and other handheld devices to text or e-mail while driving the agency's vehicles. Boise city officials continue to look at the possibility of an ordinance affecting all citizens.
"We're exploring a possible city ordinance banning texting in Boise," Adam Park, spokesman for the Mayor's office told Citydesk. "We remain hopeful that a statewide solution can be reached to address this important issue."