New numbers show alarming shortage of sheriffs' deputies in Kootenai County

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by Cole Heath & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on July 9, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 2:26 PM

KOOTENAI COUNTY--New numbers show an alarming trend in Kootenai County.  Fewer sheriffs’ deputies are available to help you and your family during an emergency.
 
The trend shows there’s a ratio of less than two sworn officers available for every 1,000 people in Kootenai County.  That includes deputies and detectives.
 
Specific numbers are not in yet on how many cases each investigator has and how bogged down they truly are, but other numbers show just how under-manned the entire department may be.

Stats show there are 1.4 sworn officers for every 1,000 people living in the county.  That includes the sheriff's detectives but it does not include Coeur d'Alene police officers.  That ratio is less than the state average of 1.7 and much less than the national average of 2.7 sworn officers for everyone 1,000 people
.
Like many things budgets play a roll in this.
 
To help, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is using a $400,000 grant to add three new deputies and one detective.  They'll be on the streets next year. 

Officials say they’re also looking to add one more detective in their next budget.  They'll turn that in to the county commissioners on Tuesday.
 
The ratio of sworn officers to people does not include the influx of tourists that head to this area this time of year.
 

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