COEUR d'ALENE - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office let its charter of Boy Scout troop 911 expire at the end of 2013.
Tim McCandless, CEO of Boy Scouts of America-Inland Northwest Council, said Northwest Backcountry Rescue is now chartering the troop, starting officially at the first of the year.
Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said last year he was considering dropping the sheriff's office chartered troop when Boy Scouts of America ended its membership ban on gay youth. He said then that his Christian faith and the language in the Bible informed his view of homosexuality.
"Boy Scout troop 911 is stronger than it has ever been," McCandless said Friday. "It has great adult leadership, a strong charter, and it has been very active."
He said the troop has 22 active scouts and 15 volunteer adults.
"The troop never stopped meeting," he said.
Wolfinger couldn't immediately be reached for comment Friday.
Last year, he said he was considering dropping the charter because Idaho's "crimes against nature" statute prohibits sodomy, making any association with Boy Scouts inappropriate for the sheriff's office.
McCandless said the sheriff's office inherited the troop from the Kootenai County Search and Rescue council at the end of 2012. A few months later the national membership policy change happened.
"It was only the charter organization for one year," he said.
The Inland Northwest Council doesn't issue charters to government agencies, he said.
It was a "fluke" for a sheriff's office to charter a troop, he said. Charters usually go to churches, parent-teacher groups and civic organizations.
Charters help recruit scout volunteer leaders and provide meeting space and oversight.
"It ensures that we have local involvement in a neighborhood," McCandless said.