News Respect for Law

Idaho Press Tribune 9 June 1999 - Front Page

Nampa Optimists present awards to Police, Firefighters

Marie Galyean - IPT

NAMPA -- Known as the "Friend of Youth," the Optimist Club also is a strong supporter of firefighters and law enforcement officers.

The nampa Optimist Club is the only civic group that sponsors an annual recognition for these community guardians.

The Nampa Firefighters' Local 804, an affiliated organization of the International Association of Fire Fighters has been chosen by the Nampa Optimists to receive the "Respect for Law Award" for their efforts in constructing Idaho's first fixed facility Fire Safe House.

The house was built by Local 804 members with materials they purchased and donations from local businesses and individuals. The 1152 square foot building is located on the grounds of the Nampa Fire Department Training Center at 300 W. Railroad. It will allow schools and groups to be taught fire safety lessons.

Dean Shafer, Alan Creech and Cpl Brent Boster

Above left: From left, President Dean Shafer of the Nampa Optimist Club looks on as Assistant Chief of Police Alan Creech congratulates Cpl. Brent Boster for winning the 1999 Officer of the Year Award.

Above right: Nampa Firefighter Larry Richardson accepts the Optimist award for his Local 804 from Fire Marshall Doug Strosnider.

At right: Sheriff George Nourse presents the Optimist Award to Mary McMillan, the Canyon County communications shift supervisor.

Larry Richardson and Doug Strosnider

George Nourse and Mary McMillan

The house is also equipped with a separate ventilation system that will allow firefighters to introduce non-toxic smoke into the structure, to give participants realistic smoke conditions so they can learn how to stay low and exit a building safely.

Nampa firefighters expect to begin offering classes to the public this summer. Individuals or groups interested in this fire safety training should contact the Nampa Fire Department Fire Prevention Bureau.

Officer of the Year

Lt. Rick Wiley of the Nampa Police Department nominated Corporal Brent Boster from the City County Narcotics Unit for the Optimist' Officer of the Year Award.

County Employee of the Year

The Canyon County's Employee of the Year, selected by a vote of sheriff's department employees, is Mary McMillan, the Communications shift supervisor.

McMillan is adept at handling panic calls, and perhaps the most dramatic in the past year was an emergency radio call from a seriously injured officer with a punctured lung who ran out of breath before giving his exact location. She kept her cool and managed to track him down.

She has 14 years of experience with county communications, and Sheriff George Nourse said, "She is an extremely valuable member of this department. She is very deserving of the credit given her by her peers and I am happy to recommend her for this award."

Idaho State Police Officer of the Year

Corporal Pete Cowles was selected as the ISP Officer of the Year. The Caldwell native, who served as its mayor several years ago, teaches safety in the grade schools and speaks to drivers' education classes.

According to Sgt. Larry Winner, who nominated Cowles, he is an expert accident investigator.

When he was scheduled to work Christmas Eve, he spent some of his time taking teddy bears to local hospitals and visiting with the children and their families. As a member of the Caldwell Optimist Club, he and other members answer children's letters Santa.

He donates his time to many other charitable causes, such as Special Olympics, the "Cops and Lobsters" fund raiser at Boise Red Lobster and other Optimist projects.

For more information about the Optimist Club, see its Web page at

Reprinted by permission of Idaho Press Tribune
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