As Nampa grows, the need for more law enforcement grows as well
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) —
Nampa's population is pushing 100,000, it's one of Idaho's fastest growing cities.
With that growth has comes challenges, especially for police.
"Our patrol officers, they're tasked right now, they're at a breaking point. so, something has to give and we don't want that to be our level of service or the service we provide," said Nampa Chief of Police Joe Huff.
In the past decade, the city of nampa has grown by more than 20 percent.
One thing that hasn't changed, the number of police officers.
"It used to feel like it was more of a tight knit community and you could talk with the people on each call and have more of a personal relationship with them. now, it's more of a get in, get the information and have to go so you can get onto the next call," said Nampa officer Mike Phillips.
One way the department is dealing with this is through making a priority list. The list breaks down into ranks one through nine the type of 911 call it is. so, a 1 would be an in progress call when someone is in danger. Officers will always come to that right away, whereas, something considered to be a nine like a mailbox being run over, could have to be put off for several days.
Chief Huff says, "with the amount of officers, we have on the road right now, people may have to wait 20 minutes, an hour, two hours, depending on the calls of the day, how many officers are on, and what's going on in the city right now. that's some of the growing pains. they're good growing pains because the city is growing with people but as a department we need to keep up with that growth."
In order to keep up with that growth, the department is going to be asking city council to add more officers to the department.
"We're at a point now we can't wait any longer. Now's the time to ask because we're stretched, we're stretched very thin here at the police department and we do not want to see our level of service drop. and we're at the point that if we don't get some more people our level of service is going to drop and that is something we do not want to see," Chief Huff said.
Chief Huff said they don't just need more patrol officers. As they grow, they'll also need more people in dispatch, records, and other departments too.
Chief Huff hopes to soon meet with Mayor Kling about their next steps.