Tradition of Service
Even before becoming the Idaho Territory in 1863 or the 43rd state in 1890, Idaho enjoyed a rich history. From the emerald green hillsides, timbered mountains, and pristine lakes of the panhandle to the open landscape, vast farmlands, and beautiful rivers of the south, Idaho’s history lies with its native tribes, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and determined pioneers on the Oregon Trail. These same qualities of resilience and courage personify the men and women who serve with the Idaho State Police (ISP).
From The Bureau of Constabulary in 1919 through the creation of ISP in 1939, our dedication to the people of Idaho remains the same – Serve and protect the lives, property, and constitutional rights of people in Idaho. Over the past 84 years, the members of ISP have worked in local communities to aid motorists, educate and enforce traffic safety, investigate crimes, regulate commerce, and support local law enforcement.
Over 700 talented professionals serve the people of Idaho with distinction. Our future stands on the successes of giants who came before us, and we continue striving for excellence and leaving a legacy for those who follow.
ISP serves our communities in many ways beyond our marked patrol cars on the roadways. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Section, the Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau, Idaho POST, Planning, Grants and Research and the Statistical Analysis Center, Forensic Science Services, the Bureau of Criminal Identification, Brand Inspectors, Regional Communications Centers, and the Idaho State Racing Commission all provide vital law enforcement services in cities and towns across Idaho. In addition, the ISP professional IT staff, Human Resources Section, Training Section, and the Finance Services Section help support our people and our mission of service. Through the effort of every ISP member, Idaho families can grow and thrive in safe communities.
ISP is exceptionally proud of our long and distinguished history and believes the dedicated men and women who now serve will carry us forward into the future.
ISP Through the Years
1919 – The Bureau of Constabulary was created within the new Department of Law Enforcement (DLE). In addition to “detecting and investigating crime,” the Constabulary was instructed to abate “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 is renamed and achieves new status as a law enforcement agency under the Idaho State Police Act.
1947 – The Alcohol Control Bureau, known as “Liquor Law Enforcement,” was created.
1969 – Legislation established the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST). The first voluntary full-time training academy session began on January 14, 1970.
1974 – The 42nd legislature mandated training for all basic peace officers within one year of hire.
1982 – The Governor’s Office and the Legislative Auditor established the Police Services Division to consolidate ISP and provide two major areas of responsibilities: criminal investigations and law enforcement-related activities.
1988 – The Bureau of Forensic Services is assimilated into the DLE from the Department of Health and Welfare to unite the management of law enforcement support activities with evidence analysis.
1995 – The Bureau of Criminal Identification is created to centralize all computer operations (including the Idaho Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems) in one function, now called the Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) section.
2000 – The DLE was reorganized in 1999 and took the name of ISP, carrying on a proud service history since the Bureau of Constabulary in 1919. With a radically different organizational profile, Idaho Code was amended to reflect the new agency.
2007-present – Restructuring continues, driven by economic factors and principles of efficiency and effectiveness. Historically, district offices had separate commanders for Patrol and Investigations programs, but now have one Captain who oversees both programs.
The Support Services and Forensics programs previously headed by separate Majors were 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, ISP has over 700 professionals and operates from the headquarters complex in Meridian where numerous divisions, the main regional communications center, a forensics laboratory, and POST are housed.