Boise Police will have a downtown station

The Lucky Dog Tavern will be converted into a Boise Police substation. Photo by Teya Vitu.

The Boise Police Department will convert the Lucky Dog Tavern in downtown’s West End into a new substation and microdistrict.

One lieutenant, two sergeants and 23 officers, including seven bicycles officers, will work from the Lucky Dog Tavern property at 2223 W. Fairview Avenue, according to Alison Tate, BPD operations support commander.

Police expect to move into the 4,344-square-foot building in 12 to 18 months, she said.

Tate said BPD had its first discussions with the architect on Oct. 19. Lombard Conrad Architects, with offices just a few blocks from the Lucky Dog, is the project architect. Thornton Oliver Keller Commercial Real Estate found the property for BPD. A general contractor has not been selected.

The police department has actively sought a downtown station for about three or four years, Tate said.

The city of Boise on Oct. 16 acquired the .85 acre property from Sticknoth 160 LLC for $1.15 million with police impact fee funds with a projected closing date in late November. Lucky Dog Tavern will remain with an “inexpensive” nine-month lease the city offered to give the tavern time to find a new location as architectural and construction documents are drawn up, according to a city news release.

New Path Community Housing’s new building will be across the street from the new Boise police substation on Fairview Avenue. Photo by Teya Vitu.

The substation will be across from the 41-unit New Path Community Housing for the chronically homeless and the 182-room Red Lion Hotel Boise Downtowner.

“As the center of activity starts to shift west, we want to be building our presence there at the start,” Tate said. “The location is absolutely perfect for us.”

She added that the police department also values the parking that comes with the site.

City officials still call the Fairview-Main Street couplet on the West End “minimally developed” but with projects under construction or in plans. These include New Path, Adare Manor Apartments affordable housing, a St. Luke’s orthopedic hospital and possibly a stadium-office-apartment complex and a College of Western Idaho campus.

For the last decade, BPD has covered downtown from police headquarters at City Hall West, west of Maple Grove Road. The bicycle officers currently are based at Willow Lane, near Collister Road.

Police do have small nooks at City Hall downtown and at the Main Street Station bus terminal, but nobody is stationed there.

The new downtown microdistrict is bounded by Broadway, Fort Street, 15th Street and Main Street to Chinden Boulevard in the West End and includes Kathryn Albertson and  Ann Morrison Parks.

“It will allow us to make better use of our officers,” Tate said. “They will be more efficient. This will be a good place for our bike officers.”

Police shooting range will move south of Boise

The new Boise Police shooting range will have a 250-yard rifle range and a 50-yard pistol range. Image courtesy of city of Boise.
The new Boise Police shooting range will have a 250-yard rifle range and a 50-yard pistol range. Image courtesy of city of Boise.

Sounds of shooting range gunfire near the Boise Foothills trails in Military Reserve Park will become a thing of the past as the Boise Police Department works to move the range south of town.

The city of Boise closed on April 1 on the $550,000 purchase of 120 acres at 5958 W. Kuna Mora Road at Pleasant Valley Road for the new police shooting range, about 10 miles south of Boise Airport.

“It’s challenging to have a shooting range with the neighborhood and nearby hiking and biking,” city spokesman Mike Journee said.

The East End neighborhood abuts the park. Ridge to Rivers trails criss-cross the foothills near the shooting range.

Boise police has had its shooting range near the end of Mountain Cove Road since 1960 and was shooting there before then, long before foothills trails became weekend and after-work getaways.

The police department has considered improving the foothills range for years.  Boise Police Association built the range and owned it until 2008, when the city acquired the property.

“Do we invest in the facility or do we try to mind a more appropriate property that is large enough, remote enough, but still within a reasonable driving distance?” Journee said.

The Kuna-Mora range will initially include a pistol range with three stations with targets 50 yards away, a rifle range with an unspecified number of stations and targets 250 yards away, and a third range.

Journee said specific details or a budget to build the new range have not been determined, nor has a construction timeline been established.