Between our two branches of patrol (BCSO & KPD) there are twenty-one patrol deputies on the road with six additional deputies detailed out to special assignments within the department such as School Resource Officer, Civil Processing, Animal Control, Community Service Officers and the Narcotics Enforcement Team.
Since July 1, 2009 the Blaine County Sheriff's Office has contracted with the City of Ketchum to provide law enforcement services within its city limits. Chief Steve Harkins and his staff are on special assignment to the Ketchum Police Department under the command of the Sheriff's Office.
Blaine County is populated by a very diverse group of citizens, which in turn yields a very diverse law enforcement arena. Patrol Deputies are trained in the basics of police science through a sixteen (16) week Field Training Officer Program (FTO) conducted by training officers and supervisors of the Blaine County Sheriff's Office. Upon successful completion of the FTO Program, deputies will attend a ten (10) week Basic Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy (P.O.S.T.) The Academy is held at the POST training facility in Meridian, Idaho. After graduation from the POST Academy, a deputy receives an additional two (2) weeks of FTO Training before they are assigned as a single patrol officer on shift. This training is in addition to any training the deputy may have previously received either in prior assignment within the agency, or as a new recruit. Sworn officers begin their employment on probationary status. Over time an officer may achieve internal promotions up to the supervisory level.
In responding to the various types of calls, Patrol Officers rely on their training, official procedure and the law. As mentioned above, patrol deputies receive extensive training during their probationary period. Additionally, deputies rely on the Blaine County Sheriff's Office Policy and Procedure Manual, our internal organizational manual, which details not only our policies but also the plan or course of actions set down by the Department for accomplishing a particular task. Most importantly, deputies rely on the law. This refers to federal, state, county and municipal laws which guide the direction of patrol efforts and activities.DUTIES
The role of the Patrol Division within the Blaine County Sheriff's Office is diverse. The primary duty of Patrol Officers is to safeguard the lives and property of the citizens in Blaine County by way of enforcing the laws of the State of Idaho and the County of Blaine. Due to the diversity of the region, this duty is accomplished in a variety of ways. While BCSO traffic patrol is the most commonly recognized activity by the general public, it is in fact only a single aspect of a "routine" patrol shift. Blaine County Patrol is in actuality a multifaceted on-going group of patrol activities.
Routine Patrol activities generally entail responding to a variety of calls which may include crimes in progress, suicides, mentally disturbed individuals, domestic violence situations, missing persons, lost children, other agency requests for back-up or assistance, traffic accidents, special traffic enforcement detail, barking dogs or other noise complaints. On a medical assistance call, deputies may be required to perform first aid until medical assistance personnel can arrive on scene. Routine patrol is a simple name for an often complex series of calls and responses to situations.
Another routine duty of the Patrol Division is Forest Patrol. Forest Patrol activities are conducted in coordination with the U.S. Federal Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Forest Patrol entails providing routine patrol activities in summer home or cabin areas, heavy tourist areas, campgrounds, and roadways within the Blaine County jurisdiction of the Sawtooth National Forest (SNRA) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Deputies working in a Forest Patrol capacity are also often called upon to respond to search and rescue situations and provide assistance to the Blaine County Search and Rescue Team. Additionally, Forest Patrol includes answering questions about the area, giving directions or providing assistance to the citizens and visitors of Blaine County.
In addition to routine patrol, deputies also perform specialized duties such as Marine, and Snowmobile Patrol. Blaine County has five (5) lakes, as well as numerous flowing waterways which all receive heavy recreational use in season. Blaine County Marine or Boat Patrol performs various activities from safety inspections to water rescue operations to ensure the safety of citizens on the water. BCSO currently utilizes a fully outfitted Alumar Patrol Watercraft, provided by the State of Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, with a secondary MasterCraft boat utilized for some of the smaller lakes or for additional patrol during heavy use periods. Prior to receiving certification as a Marine Patrol Officer, deputies receive eighty (80) hours of instruction in Idaho Boating Laws, as well as a yearly in-service course in the Boat Patrol Function. Deputies generally work around their normal shift schedules to man the boats during the boating season with manpower augmentation of seasonal personnel assigned as full time Boat Patrol Officers.SPECIAL ASSIGNMENTS
The Patrol Division of the Blaine County Sheriff's Office also fields certain specialty assignments, including our Detective Unit, Narcotics Enforcement Team, School Resource Officer/Police Assistance League (PAL), or SERT, and task forces for certain crimes and activities.DETECTIVE UNIT
The Blaine County Detective Unit is made up of trained officers who are assigned to any case that requires extensive investigation for resolution. The Detective Unit works with the uniformed Patrol Division Supervisory Officers on matters of joint concern to successfully investigate and arrest individuals who have committed a serious crime. These include major cases such as homicides, robberies, aggravated or sexual assaults, burglaries, and rapes, or follow up on cases initiated by the Patrol Division. On larger cases the Detective Unit leads the coordination of a multi-agency task force. They are responsible for a wide variety of tasks which include processing all evidence, fingerprints and photographs collected at a major crime scene, interviewing subjects and background investigations. The Detective Unit works closely with the Blaine County Prosecutor's Office, coordinating efforts to successfully prosecute crime in our county. NARCOTICS ENFORCEMENT TEAM
The Narcotics Enforcement Team or "N.E.T." of Blaine County is a investigative inter-agency division that focuses on all types of drug related crimes. N.E.T. consists of representatives from every law enforcement agency within Blaine County. NET has brought more than 1.2 million dollars into the Sheriff's budget through drug forfeiture funds which are used to enhance our equipment and training needs. The unit has conducted investigations on all types of drug traffickers from large to small, resulting in the seizures of large amounts of drugs, money and property from traffickers. The resulting drug forfeiture funds finance future lengthy drug investigations which allows the team to make a difference in our local battle against drugs Any individuals that would like to cooperate, assist or provide information to the Narcotics Enforcement Team should contact NET at (208)578-3837. Your information and assistance is greatly needed in the fight against drugs in our valley.SERT
The Sheriff's Emergency Response Team, known as the SERT team, is a multi-agency cooperative effort comprised of members of the Blaine County Sheriff's Office, Ketchum Police, Hailey Police and the Sun Valley Police designed to respond to emergency situations. SERT was created in the 1980's after the Odiaga shooting spree in Ketchum made county law enforcement aware of the need for a joint approach to major crime. Operating under the authority of the Sheriff, this team of highly trained and motivated professionals provides tactical response to the most violent and dangerous high risk critical incidents in our county with the main goal of protecting innocent lives and safeguarding property. Since its inception our SERT team has responded to many high risk call outs and has been able to have a successful conclusion to all incidents. SERT's exceptional rate of success can be partially attributed to their readiness factor. The SERT team actively trains to be ready in any situation including the use of special weapons and tactics both lethal and non-lethal, the safe handling of riots or crowd control, the serving high risk warrants of arrest, dealing with barricaded gunmen, active shooters, or hostage situations. Additionally our SERT team trains with surrounding area sheriff offices to be able to assist them in critical incidents occurring in their county if needed.