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Posted on: June 11, 2021

Sheriff Norris talks Law Enforcement Resources and Growth at Hayden Town Hall

Sheriff Bob Norris

Hayden, ID – As one of three speakers who were featured at a Hayden Town Hall Thursday evening June 10, Sheriff Norris talked with Hayden residents about the current, and future stress, on law enforcement resources in the city of Hayden. Hayden currently contracts with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office for services.

“I am proud to be your Sheriff and I’m proud to be your Police Chief providing services within the City of Hayden,” Norris told the crowd, speaking from the microphone on his Sheriff’s Office vehicle to a crowd of roughly 100 gathered in McIntire Park at an event held by the Responsible North Idaho Growth group. “Hayden is definitely growing and with it, so is the pressure on law enforcement resources.”

Sheriff Norris has been meeting weekly with City of Hayden officials to discuss ways to ensure the community has the law enforcement resources it needs as it grows. Currently, the City of Hayden’s law enforcement services contract is a priority due to historical – and growing – disparities between the amount of law enforcement services needed for the growing community and the historic amount paid for their law enforcement services contract with the Sheriff’s Office. Currently Hayden pays the Sheriff’s Office $322,853 dollars annually for police services. The disparity lies in the fact it actually costs the County approximately $1.1 million to provide the contracted service levels the City of Hayden’s calls for service require.

Sheriff Norris shared this information with the gathered crowd on Thursday, explaining that as Hayden has grown, the funding of law enforcement services has not. Norris discussed different funding mechanisms he’s seen used in other cities – such as impact fees on new developments. Norris also discussed how different types of higher density development impact services differently.

“It’s not the family moving to a home on acreage, it’s the developments that are 100, 300, 1000 home developments,” he said. “It’s the multi-family developments. All of that takes more resources.”

The City is up for renewing its law enforcement services contract with the County later in the year. Sheriff Norris wants to work with the city leaders and the community to close the disparity gap to ensure the public safety partnership is sustainable and provides the level of services citizens need and expect.

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