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Last updated March 5, 2020
No knock warrants
Idaho has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants. Locally, the Boise Police Chief has limited the use of no-knock warrants to extreme circumstances. In these situations, an officer will need to get judicial and supervisorial permission before proceeding.
Idaho has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments.
Military style training
Idaho has not yet enacted a law refocusing training away from self-defense responses and towards community centered training like that offered by Blue Courage. Idaho police officers are trained in 9 disciplines (Patrol, Detention, Emergency Communications, Corrections, Felony Probation and Parole, Adult Misdemeanor Probation, Juvenile Correction, Juvenile Detention, and Juvenile Probation).
Idaho has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.
Civil asset forfeiture
In 2018, Idaho passed a bill with unanimous support that outlines several important standards. The bill requires agencies to report if they charged the owners when seizing property, if seized property was returned or forfeited, and the value of the forfeited property. Additionally, the bill bans vehicle forfeitures based on nothing more than minor drug possession. Thirdly, the bill sets up a “replevin” process to allow owners to use their property while the forfeiture case was ongoing (excluding items taken for evidence). Finally, the bill allows courts to reject or reduce forfeitures that are excessive and disproportionate.
However, police departments can still own 100% of the seized property, the burden of proof is still on the property's owner to prove their innocence, and property can be seized without a criminal conviction.
Idaho has not yet enacted a law ending quotas for low-level arrests.
Cost of misconduct
Idaho has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.
Idaho has not yet enacted a law decriminalizing minor offenses that do not threaten public safety such as spitting and loitering. Most minor offenses are enforced and prioritized at the local level. However, jaywalking is allowed so long as pedestrians yield to traffic.
Objective justification for stops
Idaho has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop. Officers only need 'reasonable suspicion' to make a stop.
Reporting stop details
Idaho has not yet enacted a law requiring comprehensive reporting of police stops (noting location, race, gender, whether force was used and whether a firearm was found).
Reckless civil rights violation
Idaho has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights.
Idaho has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct. While Boise and some regions like the Southeast have independent offices to investigate when an officer discharges a firearm, there is no state level office that ensures independent investigation uniformity across Idaho. The Attorney General only gets involved in extremely high level cases of police shootings.
Idaho has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity.
Mental health response
Idaho has not yet enacted a law creating and funding a mental health task force available to respond to crisis calls (in lieu of police). Mobile Crisis Units that send social workers either independently or with a police officer to respond to a mental health call exist in pockets around the state, but Idaho neither mandates their existence nor requires any mental health response alternative in its cities. Locally, Boise officers must undergo 40 hours of Crisis Intervention Training.
Education, Housing, Community Health Resources
It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.
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