The following article was published in the East Idaho News on Jun. 24, 2022.
IDAHO FALLS — The Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation has secured a $30,000 grant for the Idaho Falls Police Department K-9 Program. The grant comes from the Cross Foundation and will be used to support existing needs and expand the department’s K-9 capabilities.
For the past several years, the Idaho Falls Police Department has had three K-9 positions. Two of those K-9s are trained in narcotics/illegal drug detection. The other is trained in explosives/firearms detection and works in conjunction with the Idaho Falls Regional Bomb Squad which covers the greater region and edges of Montana and Wyoming. All three dogs are currently dual-purpose K-9’s, meaning that in addition to their primary role they are also trained for patrol work, specifically apprehension and handler protection.
In recent years, the Idaho Falls Police Department has seen an increased need for K-9 positions to meet the demands of our growing community and increasingly complex criminal and public safety issues. The Idaho Falls Police Department is taking strategic steps to increase K-9 positions and capabilities to benefit our community.
“As a taxpayer funded entity, we have to ensure that we are doing the most good possible with the funds entrusted to us,” said Chief of Police Bryce Johnson. “Receiving a grant like this means that we can stretch our existing budget to do more for our community.”
The Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation (GIFPF) was founded in 2020 and recently made their public debut as a charitable organization dedicated to aiding local law enforcement agencies, officers, and supporting public safety needs in the Greater Idaho Falls area.
The GIFPF partnered with the Idaho Falls Police Department to apply for a grant from the Cross Foundation. The Cross Foundation distributes charitable funds throughout the four-state area of Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Montana to organizations whose goals fit within their five focus areas.
One of those focus areas includes “promoting the health, care, and welfare of dogs, including the training of dogs to assist and benefit in improving the quality of life for humans and other animals.”
“We thank the Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation and the Cross Foundation for making this grant available to us and recognizing the benefits of the K-9 program within our community,” said Chief Johnson. “K-9s are invaluable partners in the work that we do.”
IFPD is in the process of restructuring and expanding the K-9 program to include a total of six K-9s. That number will include four dual-purpose narcotics detection and patrol work trained K-9s, expanding the times that K-9 partners are readily available to assist with those needs in our community. In addition to detecting illegal narcotics, these K-9s assist with finding suspects, de-
escalation, and keeping their human partners safe while serving our community.
The other two K-9 positions will include two single-purpose K-9s, one trained in explosives/weapons detection and the other trained in electronics detection. IFPD recently adopted a 6-month-old Belgian Malinois from the Blackfoot Animal Shelter, Skadi, who will be trained in-house for the explosives/weapons detection role.
IFPD secured the funds for the electronics detection K-9 through a separate grant. This K-9 will be primarily utilized in internet crimes against children investigations and is expected to join IFPD in the coming weeks.
The funds from the Cross Foundation, made available through the GIFPF, will be used for training tools, kennels, the cost to acquire and train an additional dual-purpose narcotics detection/patrol K-9, and other needs within the K-9 program as it expands.
“The Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation is pleased to provide this assistance to the Idaho Falls Police K9 Program,” said GIFPF Board Chair Eric Isom. “We recognize the great work of our law enforcement agencies and appreciate their dedication to public safety. We thank the Cross Foundation for its generous donation.”
The Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit committed to promoting public safety by providing resources and support to the law enforcement community, utilizing innovative solutions and advocacy between the community and law enforcement with compassion, integrity, financial and community support. For more information about the Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation, or to offer support, visit their website at www.ifpolicefoundation.org.