An open letter to the Governor, Lt. Governor, members of the Idaho House and Senate: Stop weakening Idaho Sheriffs and Sheriff Operations in Idaho.
While the state of Idaho sits on hundreds of millions of surplus dollars, county sheriffs across this state are struggling to hire staff and are experiencing serious jail overcrowding.
Kootenai County Sheriff Robert B. Norris said that a process that may have served Idaho well at one time, is now broken. The Kootenai County jail is approximately 30% overcrowded with a felony population of 83%. The jail and the Kootenai County community has seen a more serious criminal element in recent years. The jail failed its last inspection due to staffing and inmate population.
It is time for a wider conversation to support sheriff operations in Idaho. Burdening the property owner to support law enforcement operations when they are the least of our problems should be a consideration. A conversation on sales tax, where everybody, not just the homeowner, shares the cost of law enforcement should be a part of the conversation.
The Legislature has restricted the property tax formula to counties for years, while the state sits on hundreds of millions of dollars in surplus. County law enforcement operations suffer while state and city operations flourish.
What is the difference between underfunding law enforcement and defunding law enforcement?
Sheriff Robert B. Norris
By: Lt. Zachary Sifford
Contact: Lt. Zachary Sifford
February 9, 2023
PIO Cell: 208-758-1045