Operations Bureau

The Operations Bureau, under command of Captain Kevin Smart, is the largest and most visible component of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office. The Operations Bureau is comprised of  Patrol, Traffic and a number of specialized units who serve the community as first responders to a myriad of field incidents. The men and women assigned to the Operations Bureau take pride in serving our residents, businesses and visitors through the Department’s Mission, Vision and Values as guiding principles.

The Operations Bureau, which serves as the field uniformed services delivery foundation of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, is committed to providing the highest level of service with dignity and respect. The men and women of the Operations Bureau place themselves in harm's way, potentially each day, to keep residents, visitors and businesses safe.

Under operational command of Patrol and Specialized Units is Captain Kevin Smart, the Bureau is organized into two major Divisions of Patrol and Detective.

Patrol Division
The Patrol Division is dedicated to providing prompt and exceptional service during times of emergency or crisis to residents and business operators within the county. Patrol conducts the initial investigation of most crimes, addressing quality of life issues and conducting community outreach.

Specialized Units

Specialized units are an important part of the Operations Bureau. The teams are responsible for community outreach and enforcement efforts.  Our specialized unites are comprised of the following:

Traffic Team
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Traffic Team was developed in the spring of 1998. The focus of the Traffic Team is to educate and influence motorists' behaviors through the enforcement of traffic laws and ordinances. Our overall goal is to reduce the number of traffic collisions and make travel on Kootenai County roads safer for everyone.

Special Weapons And Tactics - SWAT
SWAT is a specialized support unit that responds to extremely high-risk incidents posing a tremendous threat to officers and/or citizens. These types of incidents are so hazardous, complex or unusual they typically exceed the capabilities of first responders or investigative units. SWAT is capable of handling acts of terrorism, barricaded suspects, hostage situations, riots, dignitary protection, and high-risk warrant service, as well as the protection of lives and property. Selection to the SWAT team is highly competitive and requires each member maintain a high level of physical fitness, firearms proficiency, and tactical skills. Included within the SWAT Team is a cell of Crisis Negotiators who receive specialized training in crisis negotiations with barricaded suspects, hostage situations, suicide intervention, and domestic violence intervention.

K-9 Team
The K-9 Team presently has four teams consisting of a handler and a canine.  Each of the canines are all dual-purpose for patrol work and drug detection. Specialized breeder/trainers import the canines and both handlers and canines complete extensive training prior to certification.  These teams take enforcement action, conduct evidence collection, provide security, provide public education, and assist with crime prevention. The canine unit trains at a variety of locations throughout Kootenai County. 

They have received training in:

  • Building searches
  • Evidence/article location
  • Handler protection
  • Suspect apprehension
  • Tracking
  • Assist with crime prevention
  • Conduct evidence collection
  • Provide public education
  • Provide security
  • Take enforcement action 

Recreational Safety
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Recreation Safety Section is responsible for providing Marine and Back Country patrols in designated recreational areas.  The unit also responds to emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Marine Patrol
Marine law enforcement and rescue patrols are responsible for ensuring safety and enforcement for the 18 lakes and 56 miles of navigable river within our county. Marine operates year round, but is at maximum deployment May 1st  through September 15th of each year. At maximum deployment, the section employs one full time Sergeant, two full time Deputies, and seasonal Deputies. Throughout the year, the marine program provides certified boating education courses to the public and conducts patrols on the various lakes and rivers in the county.  Kootenai County is home to more than 24,000 registered boaters, the largest number in the State.  Additionally, the Marine program teaches the State Certified Boating Education course to local students at no charge.  At the completion of the class, boaters are granted a boater safety card which is mandated to operate a vessel in all but five U.S. states. 

Please visit https://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/activities/boating/ for more information.

Seasonal Marine Deputies
The hiring of seasonal deputies begins with the testing process in November or December in the year preceding the Marine Season. The Marine program is a leader in the State when it comes to the service provided to the boater. We also host an 80 hour post certified marine academy; once trained, the marine deputies conduct several thousand vessel safety inspections and arrest dozens of intoxicated boaters off the water each year.

Inquiries can be made to kcsorecruit@kcgov.us and marine@kcgov.us.

Dive Rescue and SONAR Teams
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Recreation Safety Section is charged with maintaining an active Dive Rescue Team and SONAR Team. 

The Dive team consists of thirteen divers and four shore support personnel. The divers train year round in various environments. The divers are trained in boat operations, swift water rescue, surface ice rescue, sub-surface ice diving, night-diving operations, and can dive to 100 feet. On average, the dive team responds to two dozen calls per year and is on call for rescue or recovery operations at all times.  Most Diver’s hold certifications in master open water, rescue, public safety, ice, night, full face, dry suit, and diver emergency medical provider.   The team trains monthly and continues to gain experience in various dive-related topics. 

The SONAR Team is a sophisticated scientific team, which consists of nine members who operate a dedicated vessel with side-scan SONAR equipped via a tow cable. The team utilizes the equipment to conduct underwater searches at depths too deep for divers. The searches include looking for victims of drowning, sunken vessels, and lost equipment. 

Also utilized by the SONAR Team is a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The ROV operates much like a drone, only under water. The ROV is used to recover drowning victims and items that are too deep and dangerous for divers to access. 

The SONAR Team trains year round in all conditions in order to better prepare for responses in the many seasons of North Idaho, and the region. They specifically train in search patterns, GPS positioning, boat operations, ROV manipulation, underwater topography, and triangulation of witness accounts on the water.

Any questions, information, or donations regarding any of the previously mentioned teams should be referred to marine@kcgov.us

Back Country Unit
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office has a dedicated Back Country Unit. This section employs one full time Sergeant and two full time Deputies. Their primary function is to conduct backcountry patrols and respond to calls for service. The approximate size of the National Forest in Kootenai County is 250,000 acres.

The Back Country Unit patrols and covers the rural and forested areas of the county where special vehicles / equipment are used to gain access where they perform rescues and enforce off-road laws and educate the public in the use of such lands.

Drone Team 
Small, remotely operated Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), also commonly referred to as drones, are an efficient and effective way of providing law enforcement critical information to respond to calls for service and emergency situations, or to conduct criminal investigations. Some examples comprise of; providing an overhead view of an area or incident for ground personnel, safely clearing the interior of buildings, providing detailed documentation of crime and accident scenes, and searching for lost or missing persons

Animal Control

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Section operates under the Operations Bureau and consists of three Animal Control Officers. They are responsible for the enforcement of Idaho Code Title 25 Chapter 35, Kootenai County Animal Control Ordinances and Incorporated City Animal Control Ordinances. Animal Control works closely with other agencies to ensure the welfare of the public and its domesticated animals. We deal mainly with cats, dogs and livestock, but can answer many questions relating to other animals.

Questions or Concerns
If you have questions or concerns about the proper care and treatment of any animal, or if you would like to report a non-time sensitive problem with any animal, please contact our Animal Control Officers at 208-666-5765. For all other animal related reports/problems such as animal bites, lost or loose animals, or redemption of impounded animal, please contact our Animal Control Officers at 208-446-1300 x 2. 

Spay & Neuter
Please spay or neuter your pets. The law requires all dogs over 6 months of age to be licensed and to be current on rabies vaccinations.

Community Service Officer (CSO)

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office CSO operates under the Operations Bureau and consists of two Community Service Officer’s. They are responsible for conducting preliminary investigations on reported criminal offenses that are not in progress, impounding abandoned vehicles, performing VIN inspections and providing crime prevention services to the public.

If you have questions or concerns about VIN inspection please contact, our CSO is at 208-446-1300 x 8 and leave a message.