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Bill to allow unmarked ISP patrol cars introduced

Bill to allow unmarked ISP patrol cars introduced

Dustin Hurst
February 4, 2016
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February 4, 2016

The Idaho State Police wants unmarked police cars for highway patrol duty to combat aggressive drivers and will have a chance to state their case starting in the Idaho Senate.

Members of the Senate’s Judiciary and Rules Committee voted Wednesday to introduce the proposal, allowing it to proceed to a full hearing.

ISP Lt. Col. Kedrick Wills told senators his agency needs the unmarked cars to enhance safety on Idaho roadways.

“Aggressive driving was a factor in 56 percent of all crashes in 2015,” Wills said.

To address concerns about police imposters pulling over unsuspecting Idahoans if the proposal passes, Wills said officers will continue to work in full uniform and will carry proper police identification with them at all times.

If the Legislature and Gov. Butch Otter affirm the plan, only up to 10 percent of ISP’s patrol fleet could be unmarked.

Wills and ISP plan a large media outreach effort should the bill make it into the law books. “We want the public to know we’re driving [unmarked cars],” Wills told senators. “We don’t want anyone to wonder if we have them.”

Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, motioned to introduce the bill. “I think this is worthy of having a hearing,” Nonini said.

The panel introduced the measure without dissent. The same panel will likely give the bill its full hearing in the next week or two.

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