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ISP hopes new troopers will alleviate staffing shortage

ISP hopes new troopers will alleviate staffing shortage

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Idaho State Police District 6 is a large area stretching from Shelley to the Montana border, but there are only 21 troopers to patrol it.

That will change Friday when 15 new troopers are expected to be sworn in in Boise. Four of those troopers will be coming to eastern Idaho – two to Idaho Falls and one to both Salmon and Dubois. These are areas that ISP currently has difficulty reaching.

"If they have a major crash or ... some type of major incident, they'll have to send a guy from Idaho Falls. Of course it takes a two-hour response time to get up there," said Sgt. Chris Elverud.

ISP used to have resident troopers in both Salmon and Dubois, but after they left, their positions remained vacant – one for two years.

"Lose people to attrition, retirement, and so we're always training, losing people and training," said Elverud.

ISP is hoping the new troopers it swears in Friday will help improve things, but each new trooper ISP recruits costs the agency quite a bit of money.

"We'll invest around $150,000 per trooper, and that's outfitted with vehicles, equipment and stuff," said Elverud.

Even once sworn in, new troopers still have to undergo three months of field training, which they may or may not survive.

ISP said the troopers that do pass the training usually end up staying with ISP for a fairly long time.

ISP said while it provides support to local agencies, it wouldn't be able to do what it does without them.

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