Blue line getting thinner in West Coast states as police take refuge in Idaho

This series' fifth chapter covers West Coast mass migration to Idaho. See 1, 2, 3, 4. Curdale, Idaho— Seth Horst kept his employment a secret. Many Californians deemed "police officer" a four-letter word in 2020.  

A year later, Horst and his family watched fire trucks and police cars parade through downtown Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on Independence Day. Horst recalls the Kootenai County sheriff waving at folks from a pickup with a rifle.  

Many cars, homes and businesses fly the blue line flag year-round, and Horst said people regularly offer to buy police coffee when they encounter them in the streets.  

"That is so powerful for the men and women in uniform up here to have that backing," said Horst, who opened a real estate business in North Idaho after leaving California Highway Patrol. "Great workplace.  

Horst and Idaho Fraternal Order of Police President Bryan Lovell said a more favourable attitude has drawn retired and active-duty police officers to Idaho.  

“They come to Idaho to enjoy their career and make a difference,” Lovell told Fox News Digital. "They see that, in large part, our communities are supportive of law enforcement and public safety."  

Cities across have staff shortages because to 2020 anti-police protests. Some departments still bleed four years later. A March KING 5 analysis found Seattle's police personnel lowest since the 1990s.   

Alameda Police Department in California offered a $75,000 signing bonus, the largest in the nation, plus a six-figure beginning wage earlier this year to recruit new officers.  

Idaho has recruiting challenges, but when other agencies lost workers, out-of-state police applications increased, Lovell said.   

According to the Idaho Peace Officer Standards & Training, the number of officers from other states applying for certification in Idaho increased between 2019 and 2021.  

State of squatting: America is at a 'turning point,' says handyman who helps people reclaim their homes 

Also See