Idaho State Police
History and Description of Services
Description of Services
The Idaho State Police provides law enforcement services to Idaho including patrol, investigations, forensics, training and support activities. Additionally, the ISP maintains the state’s criminal history records and a number of registries required by law as well as the statewide Public Safety and Security Information System and connectivity to national criminal justice databases. Key programs of the ISP are: Patrol, Investigations (including the Alcohol Beverage Control function which provides licensing and enforcement services for over 4,000 liquor licenses in Idaho), Police Services (Forensics, Support Services) and Management Services. Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) is a division within the ISP.
ISP Through the Years
1919 – The Bureau of Constabulary is created within the spanking-new Department of Law Enforcement (DLE). In addition to “detecting and investigating crime”, the new Constabulary was to “order abatement of public nuisances and to enforce such orders by appropriate court action, to suppress riots, prevent affrays, and to prevent wrongs to children and dumb animals, that are inhibited by law.”
1939 – The Idaho State Police achieves status as a law enforcement agency under the Idaho State Police Act.
1947 – The Alcohol Control Bureau, known as “Liquor Law Enforcement” is created and placed in DLE.
1969 – Three pieces of legislation establish the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council and program. The first voluntary fulltime academy session begins January 14, 1970. In 1974, the 42nd legislature mandates training for all basic peace officers within a year of hire.
1982 – The Police Services Division is established through reorganization based on recommendations from both the Governor’s Office and the Legislative Auditor. This resulted in a consolidation of PSD activities into two major areas of responsibilities: criminal investigations and law enforcement related activities.
The Director establishes the administrative support functions of Financial Services, Human Resources and the office now known as Planning, Grants and Research.
1988 – The Bureau of Forensic Services is assimilated into the Department of Law Enforcement from the Department of Health and Welfare, uniting the management of other law enforcement support activities with that of evidence analysis.
1995 – The Bureau of Criminal Identification is created in Idaho Code. This successfully centralized all Department computer operations (including the Idaho Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems) in one function now called the Criminal Justice Information Systems section.
2000 – Following the Department of Law Enforcement’s reorganization into the Idaho State Police with a radically different organizational profile, Idaho Code is amended to reflect the new agency. Formerly known as the Department of Law Enforcement, the agency reorganized in 1999 and took the name of its former division, the Idaho State Police, carrying on a proud history of service since the Bureau of Constabulary was organized in 1919.
2007-present – Restructuring continues at the ISP, driven by both economic factors and principles of efficiency and effectiveness. District offices have historically had separate commanders for the Patrol and Investigations programs. Since 2007, district offices have one commander, a Captain who oversees both programs in the geographically-defined area. Also since 2007, a combined Patrol/Investigations office was constructed on the Meridian ISP campus, a combined Patrol/Investigations/Forensics office was constructed on ITD land in Coeur d’Alene, and a remodel of the Lewiston Patrol office to provide space for the district‘s Investigation program is underway.
The Support Services and Forensics programs previously headed by separate Majors have been combined into one Police Services program, overseen by a single Major.
Regional Communications Centers have been reduced from 3 to 2, continuing to provide statewide coverage and necessary redundancy.
Today’s ISP is authorized 495.25 full-time positions in FY2011; 282 are commissioned officers, including those employed in non-enforcement positions. ISP operates from a headquarters complex in Meridian that includes a forensics laboratory and facilities for the Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy. ISP maintains 2 Patrol offices, 2 Regional Communications Centers, 2 Investigations offices, 4 combined services offices, 1 separate forensic laboratory and 2 POST training offices (besides those in Meridian) statewide.