High crime in North Idaho - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

High crime in North Idaho

Kootenai County has highest rate in the state

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Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - While Idaho's overall crime rate dropped by 1.5 percent in 2012, the crime rate in Kootenai County increased by 9.3 percent, and the county recorded the highest crime rate of all Idaho counties.

The information was released earlier this month by the Idaho State Police in its annual, comprehensive "Crime in Idaho" report.

The statewide crime rate last year was 5,087 offenses per 100,000 residents. The Kootenai County crime rate was 7,210 per 100,000.

Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Lt. Stu Miller said there are several variables contributing to the high number of offenses committed last year in the county.

"We have a huge influx of folks that really aren't accounted for," Miller said.

Because the state's calculation of the crime rate is based on population, Miller said the statistic is skewed. It doesn't consider the high number of people who regularly visit the county for recreational purposes or to attend large-scale events like Ironman.

The county's proximity to the city of Spokane is another factor he pointed to.

"We bring in a lot of folks that come over from our neighboring state, commit crimes and then go back," Miller said.

The state report indicates there were 10,245 "group A" offenses committed in Kootenai County last year. Larceny, with 3,187 reports logged, was the most highly reported crime. Behind that were simple assaults, with 1,490 reports and vandalism, with 1,170 reports.

The Idaho State Police's 2011 "Crime in Idaho" report placed Kootenai County fourth in the state, with Nez Perce, Bannock and Valley counties recording higher crime rates. The 2010 report placed Kootenai fifth, with 6,274 offenses per 100,000 residents.

The Kootenai County city with the highest crime rate is Coeur d'Alene, coming in at sixth in the state with a crime rate of 10,219 per 100,000 residents.

High crime rates were recorded in other parts of North Idaho, in comparison to the rest of the state.

With just 1,143 residents living within its jurisdiction, the Ponderay Police Department in Bonner County has the highest crime rate of any police agency in Idaho. Ponderay officers dealt with 213 offenses in 2012, reflecting a crime rate of 18,635 per 100,000 residents.

Contributing factors likely include Ponderay's location, just north of Sandpoint, in a resort and recreation area. The city is adjacent to Lake Pend Oreille and bills itself as "the proud gateway to Schweitzer Mountain," with several hotels and motels within its borders.

The Shoshone County Sheriff's Office edged out the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office for the highest crime rate for that type of agency. Shoshone County Sheriff's deputies recorded 6,389 offenses per 100,000 residents, while Kootenai's deputies logged 5,269.

Shoshone County's appeal to outdoor recreation enthusiasts who flock en masse to the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River each summer is a likely contributing factor.

In Kootenai County, another factor in the higher crime rate is staffing, said Lt. Miller.

"We have a lower number of deputy sheriffs per thousand than other counties," Miller said.

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  • Wake posted at 7:30 pm on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    Wake Posts: 22

    Is the crime in cda really that bad compared to other areas similar in size?

  • concernedcitizen posted at 9:09 am on Sat, Jul 13, 2013.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    Hey, all of those undesirables wouldn't be here if the locals weren't selling to them now would they native.

    Most of the locals would sell their own mother for a buck.

  • IdahoNative posted at 7:30 pm on Thu, Jul 11, 2013.

    IdahoNative Posts: 43

    I blame it ALL on the low class, bottom feeders that came over from CALIFORNIA. They ruined that state. Now they're working on Idaho. Where it's affordable and beautiful like North Idaho it's always going to attract losers with their 30 kids in tow. Let's face it. Way to go Democrats, way to go!

  • Albert's Landing posted at 6:58 pm on Wed, Jul 10, 2013.

    Albert's Landing Posts: 1

    Hello. I happen to manage the Campground, Day Use and Parking ares, and General Store at Albert's Landing on the North Fork. I agree that the massive influx of public users to float the amazing North Fork River likely contribute to the higher crime rate. We've had everything stolen that's not nailed down, and even some things that were. I will, however adamantly argue that the "problems" are coming over from Washington or other areas and then leaving. At least not on the North Fork. I do my best to keep everyone on our property as safe and happy as possible from sunup to sundown, seven days a week. I see each and every "problem" that this area has, and 90% of them arrive in several vehicles with Shoshone and/or Kootenai county plates. Most are NOT Campground, shuttle, tube, or bar customers. They are mostly public use groups, and we are TRYING to keep our Day Use Area open to the public users as a courtesy, even after the County decided to put the public use port-a-potties across the Silver Bridge, where the road narrows and they're nearly inaccessible. Pack It In, Pack It Out has taken on a WHOLE new meaning as we are not allowed to let the public use our restrooms due to health code restrictions. Most of the floaters, regardless of county of origin, are absolutely great!. All we want is for everyone to continue to enjoy this beautiful river, while making it a safe, clean, and good experience for all - including families. The people that arrive with Washington or other out-of-State plates KNOW they can't park in the middle of a public road and then take their time, loitering while in no rush to load up and move. Emergency vehicles need to get through? Too bad. Last year someone put their truck in the river while swerving to miss another truck speeding and loaded with tubes. It took nearly 2 hours to get an ambulance and tow truck to the scene. The "tourists" also know that if they pack it in, they should pack it out. They also don't bring GLASS to the river; they read the signs and comply. We are also trying to recycle as many of the thousands of cans that end up on our property every weekend, and again, some are better than others. We donate recycling proceeds to local charities and the Ronald McDonald House. A minimum of 90% of the "problems" on the North Fork are caused by groups from Shoshone and Kootenai County. I watch it all day, every day and do the best I can, but some people simply don't understand or care that they're literally peeing in their own pool. Garbage is scattered from the Silver Bridge, up to Bumblebee and beyond. I floated today and picked up a garbage bag full of cans and BOTTLES without even going out of my way to retrieve them. Plus another bagful that had accumulated on our beach and in our Day Use Area since this morning. I'll have another bag or two full after walking the river tonight to pick up the numerous things people just leave behind. Until you come and watch the chaos that repeats itself every weekend here, (and some weekdays too) and SEE the plates, and the problems associated with them, you may want to write another article. Or at least revise this one. We love the local users. More and more of them are doing it right and are even policing other groups that are seen disrespecting this beautiful river. The "tourists" that everyone complains about are by & large the people that help pay for the very high cost associated with the masses of public users that pay nothing into the county coffers while enjoying this rare gem. We're working as hard as we can, but we sure would appreciate the public's help with these issues. We will be hosting another River Clean Up Day with free BBQ the weekend after Labor day. Prizes for strangest item retrieved (last year I think the winner was a kitchen sink - literally). Lots of local folks show up to help and we LOVE that. We hope to continue to be able to afford to allow the public to use our Day Use and Beach areas. That's our goal, and we're in it for the long haul. Again, please feel welcome to come and enjoy this amazing place whether you are Albert's customers or not, we just ask that you don't leave more behind than you arrived with, don't take anything home that doesn't belong to you, and leave the road clear for emergency vehicles and other traffic that use this public road. Thank you and we hope to see as many people as possible enjoying this beautiful and unique area, climbing up the banks grinning like 6 year olds!

  • CONFUSED posted at 12:28 pm on Wed, Jul 10, 2013.

    CONFUSED Posts: 67

    Must be the gays and all their rights (tongue firmly in cheek)

  • Ms N posted at 10:54 am on Wed, Jul 10, 2013.

    Ms N Posts: 1

    It's worse than that, I agree with the article's assessment of the likely culprits, be we have also encouraged every transient with knowledge of the area to setup camp in our in-town forested areas and take advantage of our "shelters" without any culpability. All the while enjoying our local life style, they break into our homes during the day to fund their bad habits. I say, let's stop pandering to "people in need" and let them move on to urban areas better equipped to deal with menaces....

  • ancientemplar posted at 10:47 am on Wed, Jul 10, 2013.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1268


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  • mister d posted at 8:48 am on Wed, Jul 10, 2013.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    This news is really no surprise You cannot keep encouraging people to move into or visit an area and not expect crime to rise.

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