Boise Cops: No Desire to be 'Cup Police' or Smell Tailgaters' Cups 

"The purpose of the [new] proposal is to make the law fair to citizens, and to allow [police officers] to focus on enforcement of more pressing issues."

With less than two months to go before the kickoff of another Boise State football season, city officials are quietly huddling to allow tailgaters to go deep--beyond the confines of the Bronco Stadium parking lot and as far as a portion of Julia Davis Park. And while Boise police are anxious to stop handing out anywhere between 300-400 criminal citations per season to violators of the city's open container ordinance, Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson says he has no desire to continue being "the cup police or to smell park visitors' cups."

"The purpose of the [new] proposal is to make the law fair to citizens, and to allow [police officers] to focus on enforcement of more pressing issues," said Masterson, who added that his department was meeting with Boise State officials and surrounding neighborhoods to discuss the details.

BPD Officer Jermaine Galloway, who has coordinated game-day patrols for neighborhoods and public property surrounding Boise State for eight years, said, "The main problem is the public not knowing where open containers are allowed," and that the goal of the new concept is to establish "a way for individuals to consume alcohol in a compliant way, versus the police department writing tickets to responsible citizens."

The proposal would stretch tailgating--where open containers of alcohol would be allowed on game days--from Myrtle Street south along Broadway Avenue to Beacon Street. The line would then run west from Broadway to Lincoln Avenue. In Julia Davis Park, the tailgating area would be proposed east of Zoo Boise, stretching to Broadway.

"There are already tailgaters in the park who risk having alcohol by hiding their drinks in a cup," said Galloway.

But if Masterson and Galloway have their way, the Boise Parks and Recreation Commission would need to give its OK to a game-day "cup policy" for Julia Davis Park.

"I support the cup policy as it looks more professional and will be consistent with Boise State policy," Parks and Rec Commissioner Scott Raeber told Masterson and Galloway May 16.

Members of the Bronco Athletic Association, who fork over significant amounts of money for the privilege of parking just outside of Bronco Stadium (some paying as much as $1,000 for an RV space), have had the privilege of drinking on school property for years.

The public will have an opportunity to weigh in on the matter when a public hearing is scheduled later this summer. The Boise City Council will have the ultimate authority on the entire tailgating issue.

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