KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho — It was standing room only at Thursday's town hall meeting with Kootenai County Sheriff Bob Norris, where he and his deputies discussed a wide range of issues they say the community wants answers to.
Those issues include how law enforcement an active shooter like the one in Uvalde, Texas.
"I would just like to assure you that your Sheriff's office is equipped and trained and prepared if that day ever comes here," said Patrol Lt. Zach Stifford. "We pray that it does not."
Families in Uvalde, Texas were outraged to learn that law enforcement waited more than an hour to confront the gunman. Kootenai County deputies say that wouldn't have been the case in North Idaho.
"Our primary focus and job as law enforcement responding is to stop the killing before we stop the dying. We are a direct to threat response meaning that we will step past any including our own to get to whoever is hurting our children and we will stop them from being able to hurt anyone else."
Another topic the sheriff wanted to discuss was the national media's coverage of the June 11 Pride event. Those reports mainly surrounded the arrest of 31 members of a hate group found in the back of a U-Haul.
But, Norris focused on an article in the Huffington Post, which covered the arrest and a Republican event Norris attended back in April, which featured some white nationalists.
"What they forgot to say at this supposed meeting of white nationalists and a far right bike gang was that the entertainer for that night was a black rapper," Norris said.
Norris faced scrutiny for his appearance last April. He said speakers were not publicized in advance.
"I do not support the speech that was used that evening on April the 16th, but I also do not support scantily clad individuals performing in a sexually suggestive manner to children," Norris said.
That comment outraged some LGBT members at the town hall, who called Norris transphobic. He asked one woman to leave.
Norris claims he wasn't singling out drag queens during his comments.
"I wouldn't want a prostitute to do that, a female prostitute," Norris said. "And so you made the assumption that I said drag queens. I never said drag queens. I said individual, adult individual."
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