Law Enforcement Careers in Idaho

Law enforcement officials in Idaho all share a common goal of serving and protecting the public at large with professionalism and respect, and they have their work cut out for them. According to stats from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, there were 4,000 incidents of violent crime in Idaho as of 2019. But between 2018 and 2019, violent crime here has dropped an impressive 4.7%.

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These are accomplishments that Idaho’s law enforcement community can be proud of, but they also know better than to rest on their laurels since enforcing the law is a job that is never done. From state police to county sheriff’s offices and local city police departments, the overreaching goal of Idaho’s law enforcement community is to protect life and property while maintaining order.

Idaho State Police

Law enforcement in Idaho begins at the state level. Founded in 1919 when it was known as the Bureau of Constabulary, the Idaho State Police works to maintain civil order and enforce state laws. Criminal investigations, forensic lab work, patrols, and cooperation with other law enforcement agencies are all in a day’s work for the law enforcement officers and other staff who work for the State Police.

Basic requirements for trooper candidates are a high school diploma or GED and a relatively clean background free of major traffic violations, drug use and criminal activity. State troopers may also pursue training for further specialization as a detective, commercial vehicle expert, executive protection officer, and many other positions.

Sheriff’s Departments in Idaho

From patrolling the roadways to providing jail and courtroom services, Idaho’s sheriff’s deputies are tasked with protecting the people of Idaho’s counties.

Ada County Sheriff’s Office

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for nearly every law enforcement function, including patrolling the waterways and roads, issuing permits and licenses, and policing in the community.

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office, as the largest local law enforcement agency in Idaho, consisting of more than 740 employees, 325 of whom are commissioned deputies.

Sheriff’s deputy job candidates must not have smoked tobacco products within the past 11 months prior to applying and must have a two-year AA degree, an equivalent amount of law enforcement experience, or four consecutive years of full-time military experience.

Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff’s deputies of the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office provide all law enforcement and protective services duties in jails and courtrooms, and also uphold laws and provide police services for the 110,000 residents of Bonneville county.

Bannock County Sheriff’s Office

The 56 deputies of the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office patrol the county’s 1,142 square miles and protect its nearly 83,000 residents. All deputies must be non-smokers and remain so throughout their term of employment.

Municipal Police Departments in Idaho

College credits and post-secondary degrees are valued additions to candidate resumes for law enforcement positions with all of Idaho’s many local police departments.

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Boise Police Department

The Boise Police Department’s 300 sworn police officers work tirelessly toward the department’s mission to “Protect, Serve and Lead our Community to a Safer Tomorrow.” The department seeks applicants who are honest and ethical citizens and at least 21 years of age. Candidates must also have at least 64 college credits, or the equivalence of an Idaho Intermediate Certificate or higher.

Idaho Falls Police Department

Deputy sheriff candidates of the Idaho Falls Police Department must be at least 21 years old and must hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Candidates must also have a mostly clean record, free of criminal and illicit drug-use violations, as well as meet basic hearing, sight, and fitness standards.

Pocatello Police Department

The Pocatello Police Department consists of 90 sworn officers. Candidates must have a high school education or equivalent and must be able to pass basic background and fitness tests. The Pocatello PD offers a “reverse 911” program, sending out automated messages by voice or text regarding local emergencies to residents who sign up to participate.

Meridian Police Department

The Meridian Police Department serves a population of more than 114,000 and is home to 114 police officers and 37 civilian personnel. Applicants here must be at least 21 years old and have either 60 college credits, 4 years of military service, or a POST certificate to qualify.

Nampa Police Department

The Nampa Police Department consists of 64 patrol officers working in eight-man patrol teams, all of whom provide first response to emergency and non-emergency incidents.

Police officer candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and a preference is given to those with at least 64 academic or technical college credits.

Idaho Law Enforcement Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for law enforcement officers in Idaho was $59,340 as of May 2021.

The following police/sheriff’s department salary data was sourced from May 2021 BLS stats (early career = 25th percentile, senior/late career = 90th percentile).

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Police Officer Salaries

The average starting salary for police officers working out of the state’s largest police departments is about $47,000.

Boise Police Department

Early career police officers with the Boise Police Department earn a salary of about $47,850. Senior level officers here earn as much as $80,820.

Idaho Falls Police Department

Police officers with the Idaho Falls Police Department earn a salary range of $46,880 to $74,840.

As expected, advanced positions like senior police officers and police lieutenants earn even higher salaries.

Meridian Police Department

Meridian police officer recruits earn a starting salary of about $47,850.

Pocatello Police Department

The starting salary for officers with the Pocatello Police Department is about $50,960.

Sheriff’s Deputy Salaries

The average starting salary for sheriff’s deputies in Idaho is about $48,000, mirroring the salaries of their police officer counterparts.

Ada County Sheriff’s Office

The starting salary for deputy sheriffs with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office is about $47,850, depending on the recruit’s level of education, with the highest earners being those with a four-year degree.

Bannock County Sheriff’s Office

The starting salary for deputy sheriff’s with the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office is about $50,960.

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office

The starting salary for deputy sheriffs with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is about $47,740, varying slightly depending on the level of education.

State Trooper and State Police Salaries

Troopers with the Idaho State Police earn between $47,850 and $80,820.

2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for police and sheriff’s patrol officers. Job growth projections from the US Department of Labor-sponsored resource, Projections Central. Figures are based on state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2022

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