BONNERS FERRY, Idaho — Staffing shortages are causing the Bonners Ferry Police Department to temporarily reduce police coverage, as reported by our news partner, Coeur d'Alene Press.
The shortage means that the department will be staffing an on-duty officer for 20 hours per day instead of the previous 24-hour coverage.
Bonners Ferry City Administrator Lisa Ailport said the shortage stems from an officer taking a job with the Boundary County Sheriff’s Office.
In a public service announcement, BFPD officials wrote the reduction in coverage is expected to continue for the foreseeable future until adequate staffing can be achieved. The four-hour coverage gap will vary and will not take place at any set timeframe. There will always be a city officer “on call” to respond to emergencies, officials said in a public service announcement.
When city residents call for law enforcement services through Boundary County Dispatch or 911, they will be connected to an officer, whether one is on duty at the time or not, BFPD officials said.
City residents can expect the same level of service as any other county resident during those four hours or any other time from the sheriff’s office, officials said.
Boundary County Sheriff's Office announced BFPD’s revised coverage plans in a social media post on Jan. 4.
“As we would to any other county residents and businesses, the sheriff’s office will respond to in progress calls during the hours not covered by the city police department,” said Boundary County Sheriff Dave Kramer in the Facebook post.
However, that response comes with a caveat.
The sheriff’s office will not enforce any city ordinance, or have a deputy stationed within the city limits during those hours, Kramer said. County law enforcement will do random patrols within the city as it does throughout the county.
With deputies covering law enforcement calls within the county’s 1,270 square miles, Kramer said a response could be delayed if a deputy is in a more remote area of the county or tied up on another call.
Non-active calls within the city limits may be held until a city officer is on duty.
Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our news partner, click here.