A Message From the Colonel

A Message From Colonel Kedrick Wills

As the colonel of the Idaho State Police, as I write this, dozens of ISP troopers and professional staff alike have spent extraordinary hours on a duty that, although done routinely over the years, today seems anything but typical. The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has prompted deep emotion in many of us. Many have felt the need to raise their voice in protest. Those voices should be heard. As a society, we can and must be better in how we behave toward one another.

The men and women of the Idaho State Police have a long history of keeping watch over the Idaho Statehouse. As a building, the Statehouse matches the grandeur of the land and the people of Idaho. Its halls serve a critical purpose as the backdrop for both animated debate and peaceful change.

The voice of citizens is essential in the democratic process that the Idaho Statehouse symbolizes. For decades, the Idaho State Police have taken the watch over that process, from debate to dozens of protests and rallies, loud demonstrations and quiet vigils. Recently, those voices have reached, not only the steps of the Statehouse, but public squares throughout Idaho. Through it all, troopers and support staff are continuing to do what we’ve always done; to watch over the demonstrations keeping protesters, troopers, and other members of the public safe allowing peaceful voices to be heard.

ISP troopers, from myself and throughout our ranks, have had conversations daily with those organizing protests and with those who brought flags and handwritten signs expressing their views. We’ve learned from those views, and we hope those attending the demonstrations have learned from us. Troopers and partners from allied agencies dressed in their daily uniforms, and although some wore protective face shields, the approach was intentionally that of a watchful guardian. When an isolated incident of vandalism damaged the state capital, troopers did what Idahoans expect from them; they worked with colleagues at the Boise Police Department to gather evidence, identify, and hold  those responsible accountable.

Like many of you, it grieves me to think that there are those who do not feel supported by law enforcement.  That has been a message from the voices raised in recent days, causing many of us in Idaho and throughout our nation to pause and reflect on our own beliefs and behaviors. We at the Idaho State Police are renewing our efforts to ensure our public safety service reflects and respects Idaho communities. We vow to continue to serve in ways that promote the ISP vision; to aggressively and fairly enforce the laws that enhance public safety; to embody proactive policing principals; and to be an effective and efficient steward of the public’s funds. You have my assurance that the people of ISP will continue to be the standard bearers of our organization’s values which are honesty and integrity, ethical and professional behavior, and respect for our team and our partners, including the public we serve.    

I have asked ISP employees, many of whom are already very active in their home communities, to consider opportunities for even greater leadership in building relationships that build trust. Reaching out to both the powerful and the vulnerable is how we can work today to create positive outcomes, improve safety, and help all Idaho families stay whole and healthy.  

I appreciate your comments: colonel@isp.idaho.gov.     

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