Editorial: Sheriff wrong about Coeur d'Alene policing
"In a reasonable world, a public-safety measure like one the Idaho Legislature should see in the coming days would not be necessary. But sometimes the world is decidedly unreasonable – like the part under the jurisdiction of Benewah County Sheriff Bob Kirts.

Kirts refuses to restore an agreement that would empower Coeur d’Alene Indian tribal police to enforce state laws against nontribal members on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation, the southern half of which lies in Benewah County. The result is a bewildering web of inefficiencies that seems to have sprung from Alice’s Wonderland.

If, for example, a tribal officer spots an erratic driver weaving menacingly down U.S. 95 near Plummer, he can pull the motorist over and take whatever enforcement action is necessary – so long as the offender is a tribal member. If it’s a nontribal member – and they outnumber tribal members six to one on the reservation – he has to call in either the county sheriff’s office or the Idaho State Police.

On the rural and sometimes remote reservation, that can take hours, tying up both tribal and nontribal officers for wasteful periods. And sometimes there’s no response at all, or only after such a delay that the officer has to turn the dangerous driver loose."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Benewah sheriff’s take on tribal cops wrong (The Spokesman Review 2/7)

Also Today:
Eye on Boise: Jorgenson criticizes ‘inflammatory and patently untrue claims’ (The Spokesman Review 2/5)

Relevant Documents:
DOC: State and Indian Tribal Law Enforcement Act

Related Stories:
Coeur d'Alene law enforcement bill stirs controversy (02/05)
Editorial: Back tribal arrest authority over non-Indians (2/3)