Boise & Garden City

Boise’s police chief retired. A former chief was to fill in. Here’s what happened

When Boise Police Chief Bill Bones announced his retirement in September, Mayor David Bieter’s office said he would be temporarily replaced by former Chief Mike Masterson.

Masterson would act as interim chief starting Oct. 25, the day after Bones retired, City Hall’s news release said.

It didn’t quite work out that way. Masterson had a “long-planned vacation” in place and will actually start on Nov. 25, said Haley Williams, spokeswoman for the Boise Police Department. That prevents what Williams called “a situation where he’d start and then leave and have to come back.”

Deputy Chief Ron Winegar is serving as acting chief until Masterson starts.

Mike Journee, Mayor David Bieter’s spokesman, declined to say how much Masterson will be paid or if Winegar is receiving a pay boost for serving as acting chief. He told the Idaho Statesman to submit a records request for that information.

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Former Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson will lead the department again starting in November. Statesman archive photo

Masterson was Boise’s 36th chief of police, serving for 10 years from 2004 to 2014. He was chosen after then newly elected Bieter asked Don Pierce to resign. Pierce was chief during the scandal that saw then-mayor Brent Coles and several other city officials resign. Bones succeeded Masterson.

Masterson is expected to serve until a permanent successor starts. The mayor hires the police chief, who then must be approved by the City Council. The September news release said city officials would conduct a nationwide search. Journee said he was not aware of any advances in that search.

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Hayley covers local government for the Idaho Statesman with a primary focus on Boise. Previously, she worked for the Salisbury Daily Times, the Hartford Courant, the Denver Post and McClatchy’s D.C. bureau. Hayley graduated from Ohio University with degrees in journalism and political science.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.
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