Police say Boise's anti-discrimination ordinance is working

Police say Boise's anti-discrimination ordinance is working

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by Scott Evans

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KTVB.COM

Posted on February 25, 2014 at 6:32 PM

BOISE -- After 14 months Boise Police say the city's anti-discrimination ordinance that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, is working the way it was intended.

That was one of three issues deemed a success today in a report Boise Police gave to the City Council.

The ordinance passed the Boise City Council in December of 2012. Since then, there have been two complaints.

That's in line with other places that have enacted similar ordinances, but there's something else happening here that police didn't see coming.

Jubilation, that's the word the Pride Foundation used the day the Boise City Council added the words sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to the city's anti-discrimination code.

In the past 14 months only two complaints have been filed, both alleging discrimination from a business that offers services, like a hotel or restaurant.

Both complaints came at the end of the year and are still under investigation.

"Even one person is the victim of a crime, police need to be there to defend them and there needs to be ordinances there to defend their rights," said Chief Deputy William Bones.

But Bones says the new ordinance did produce something that was unexpected.

There's been an increase in the number of crimes reported involving people in the LGBT community.

"I do believe that is most likely a correlation to the education and the trust that people have to come forward to the police department," said Bones.

Also at today’s meeting, there was talk about the new 10 to 10 ordinance.

The ordinance gives tailgaters at Boise State football games the ability to legally drink alcohol from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. inside a designated area near Bronco Stadium.

"Obviously this was an effort to get fair treatment to everybody with the boundaries clearly defined," said Bones.

The numbers show the ordinance is working.

"When we can enact an ordinance and give people equal treatment in an area, and reduce the amount of citations we have to write through compliance, I think that's a success," said Bones.

While the number of open container citations went down, underage alcohol citations more than doubled from 2012 to 2013, going from 28 to 72.

Bones says with people better understanding the 10 to 10 zone it has freed up officers to handle more pressing issues that can lead to bigger problems.

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