(Idaho Governor’s Office Press Release, March 16, 2021)
Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little signed House Bill 205 into law today, the first of his “Building Idaho’s Future” bills that make strategic investments in critical state priorities. House Bill 205 focused on the needs of law enforcement.
“While other places seek to defund the police, I am proud to say that Idaho DEFENDS the police. Idaho ‘backs the blue,’” Governor Little said. “I appreciate my partners in the Legislature – especially the floor sponsors, Representative Scott Syme and Senator Jeff Agenbroad – for sharing my support for our brave women and men in law enforcement.”
“Building Idaho’s Future” is Governor Little’s plan to use Idaho’s record budget surplus to provide Idahoans historic tax relief and make strategic investments in transportation, education, broadband, water, law enforcement, and other critical areas to propel our state forward.
The $964,000 investments in law enforcement include the items necessary to support frontline personnel at the Idaho State Police (ISP):
- New rifles with suppressors for ISP troopers
- New jackets for ISP troopers designed to give troopers quick access to vital tools needed to handle a situation effectively and efficiently, and to keep troopers warm during cold Idaho weather
- New laser safety glasses that prevent ISP troopers from permanent vision damage when non-peaceful protesters shine lasers in law enforcement officers’ eyes
- New body cameras for ISP detectives and ISP troopers assigned to Capitol Protective Services. During the 2020 special legislative session, ISP interactions with highly agitated protestors were typically only captured with cell phone cameras and posted online by protestors themselves. The new body cameras will document interactions with visitors, protestors, and opposing groups, along with many other incidents.
- New non-lethal-force riot batons for troopers to use to defensively protect people, property and themselves. The equipment can also be used in offensive crowd control situations, such as separating opposing sides during a confrontation.
- Resident housing for the Victor/Driggs patrol resident trooper’s area of responsibility, which includes Teton County and parts of Fremont and Bonneville Counties. The new housing significantly reduces the response time for service and emergency calls when requested in the area.
- New money counters to help further ISP narcotics and drug trafficking investigations
“The investment Governor Little and our Legislature has made into law enforcement in Idaho will keep our state troopers safe and provide them with the necessary tools to continue to serve the people of this great state at the level that Idahoans have come to expect from members of the Idaho State Police,” ISP Director Colonel Kedrick Wills said.
“It’s never been a more difficult time to put on the uniform. These brave souls demonstrate great restraint in order to deescalate intense situations. Their path to law enforcement stems from a true desire to serve and protect us. They are committed to implementing the best training and building strong relationships with the communities they serve,” Governor Little said in his 2021 State of the State and Budget Address earlier this year.