'Bill' Bones Selected to Lead Boise Police Department 

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George Prentice

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter's new communications chief Mike Journee turned to his boss Monday morning to note that a conference room at Boise Police Headquarters was packed.

"He said, 'You have a room full of media and police. And that's often not a good thing,'" said Bieter. referring to a string of troubling headlines from other American cities. "But in this case, it's a very, very good thing."

In fact, the room may well have been the safest in Boise Dec. 22, as Bieter revealed his choice to be Boise's newest police chief, 22-year veteran of the force Deputy Chief William Bones who is in line to replace Chief Mike Masterson who will step down Jan. 29, 2015, after serving ten years as Boise's top cop—the second-longest serving chief in the city's history.

"111 people were interested in the job," said Bieter, who added that the 32 of those made it to what he called "the first grade" of the selection process. "We interviewed eight people over the phone and three people in person. This was an open and competitive but very intense process."

Bieter said Bones came out "clearly on top" of the field and had to "endure one final obstacle: an endorsement from the Idaho Statesman," referring to the daily paper's odd decision to endorse Bones, in an editorial, to be Boise's next police chief. 

  • George Prentice
Bones called Monday's announcement (the Boise City Council must formally approve the appointment), the "greatest single honor of my career."

Bones then proceeded to point to a string of BPD officers, who he called family, and their achievements in community policing.

"When we make mistakes, we'll tell you about those too, but we'll work together to fix them," said Bones. 

In his praise for Masterson, Bieter pointed to what he said were "eight straight years of diminishing crime in Boise and a good deal of that success comes from the Chief."

Masterson continued to heap praise on Bones, saying that he had been "impressed by the Deputy Chief's ethics and decision-making."

And it shouldn't have come to anyone's surprise that Bones rose through the ranks.

"For at least the past ten years of his 22 years in the department, Deputy Chief Bones has been grooming himself to be a chief," said Bieter, pointing to Bones's repeated requests to handle extra duties. "He could have been a chief somewhere else. But we're very happy that he''ll be the new chief here."

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