Idaho State Police

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Idaho State Police
Abbreviation ISP
Idaho State Police.jpg
Patch of the Idaho State Police.
Agency overview
Formed May 18, 1919; 96 years ago (1919-05-18)
Preceding agency Bureau of Constabulary
Employees 486 (as of 2004) [1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Idaho, USA
ID - Idaho State Police Regions.png
Idaho State Police Districts
Size 83,642 square miles (216,630 km2)
Population 1,499,402 (2007 est.)[2]
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Meridian, Idaho
Troopers 288 (as of 2004) [3]
Civilians 198 (as of 2004) [4]
Agency executive Colonel Ralph Powell, Director
Districts 6
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Idaho State Police (ISP) is the statewide law enforcement agency for the state of Idaho. It was created on May 18, 1919, as the Bureau of Constabulary, under the new Department of Law Enforcement, to detect and investigate crime, "order abatement of public nuisances and to enforce such orders by appropriate court action, to suppress riots, prevent wrongs to children and dumb animals that are inhibited by law." The state constabulary was also charged with the organization of various state, county and municipal peace officers.[5]


The Idaho State Police is divided geographically into 2 regions. Each region contains 3 districts with a central headquarters and training facility located in Meridian, Idaho. The Region 1 district offices (1-3) are located in Coeur d'Alene, Lewiston, and Meridian. The Region 2 district offices (4-6) are located in Jerome, Pocatello, and Idaho Falls.[6] Each region has a commanding major. Each district has a different captain and command staff, and are managed separately. Each district has two divisions; patrol and investigations. Despite the large size of the state, the force only consists of 256 troopers (62 of them assigned to the Investigations Section [7]) and 78 civilian staff.[8]


The patrol division consists of uniformed state troopers who enforce the laws of Idaho. Commonly, a trooper will spend their time enforcing motor vehicle law while on duty. Troopers have authority to investigate and enforce fish and game violations.


The investigation division consists of plain-clothes detectives who enforce the laws of Idaho. The Idaho State Police detectives investigate major crimes such as homicide and large scale drug-related offenses.

Other divisions[edit]

  • The Alcohol Beverage Control division ensure all establishments which sell or produce alcohol are properly licensed and conform to the law.
  • Commercial Vehicle Specialists are specially trained uniformed officers who enforce federal and state laws pertaining to the safety of commercial trucking.
  • The Cyber Crimes Unit specializes in crimes involving computers and the internet.
  • The Bureau of Criminal Identification maintains the states fingerprint database.
  • Forensic Services investigates controlled substances, crime scenes, firearms, forensic biology, impression evidence, toxicology, and trace evidence.

Other duties[edit]

The Idaho State Police has two regional communications centers staffed with dispatchers who provide support to officers in the field.[9]

Some areas of the state such as the Boise valley and the Coeur d’Alene area are large enough that the local agencies can handle large criminal cases themselves.[citation needed] However, much of the state is made up of small rural communities where the local law enforcement agencies often do not have the staff or budget to handle large investigations. It is in these smaller areas that the State Police often assists in providing investigation and law enforcement.[citation needed]

The Idaho State Police is tasked with the physical protection of the Governor of the state as well as other dignitaries who may need protection.[10]

The Idaho State Police has a 20 member tactical team made up of both troopers and detectives from every region in the state. The team was formerly referred to as the Crisis Response Team, the name has since been changed to Special Weapons and Tactics.[citation needed]. Due to budget restraints the team was disbanded.

The Idaho State Police had also, until recently, fielded a Crowd Intervention Team to suppress riots and manage large crowds. Due to budget constraints and lack of use the team was deactivated.[citation needed]


Idaho State Police Troopers are issued the Glock 21 (45 ACP) and or a Glock 22 (40 S&W). Detectives are issued the Glock 30. Each Trooper is issued a Colt M-4 rifle with select fire. ISP Trooper Sergeants are also issued a shotgun to fire bean bag rounds.

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Idaho State Police, five officers have died in the line of duty.[citation needed]

Officer Date of Death Details
Policeman Fontaine Cooper
Monday, November 25, 1935
Corporal Benjamin T. Newman
Saturday, March 3, 1962
Heart attack
Sergeant Walter W. Cox
Friday, March 6, 1970
Struck by train
Corporal Douglas M. Deen
Sunday, August 5, 1979
Automobile accident
State Trooper Linda Carol Huff
Wednesday, June 17, 1998

See also[edit]


  1. ^ USDOJ Statistics
  2. ^ 2007 Population Estimates
  3. ^ USDOJ Statistics
  4. ^ USDOJ Statistics
  5. ^ State Trooper: America’s State Troopers and Highway Patrolmen. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Company/National Troopers Coalition. 2001. ISBN 1-56311-613-8. 
  6. ^ Idaho State Police Web Page
  7. ^ Idaho State Police Web Page
  8. ^ FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2006, Table 76
  9. ^ Idaho State Police Web Page
  10. ^ Idaho State Police Web Page

External links[edit]