Crime and Law Enforcement Forum- shared by Kathy Kula
This was an open forum presentation to ask questions regarding crime and law enforcement in
Idaho Falls/ Bonneville County. There will be further forums held in the county in the coming
Police chief of Idaho Falls: Bryce Johnson
Bonneville County Sheriff: Sam Hulse
Captain of the Idaho State Police for Bonneville County: Chris Weadick
Bonneville County Prosecutor: Randy Neal
The drug problem was discussed. Fentanyl is the main culprit. 4 out of every 10 pills with
fentanyl contains a potentially lethal dose. Fake pills are being made which contain at least 2
mg of fentanyl which is considered a deadly dose. Drug traffickers are using fake pills to exploit
the opioid crisis and prescription drug misuse. It is the primary source in overdose deaths. Fake
prescription pills are easily accessible and often sold on social media and e-commerce platforms
making them available to anyone with a smartphone, including minors.
There is a movement to synthetic from plant-based drugs.
Usually, the lower priced motels in the area are where the drug activity is. The Fairbridge motel
was discussed, and there isn’t any more activity there than any other motel in the area.
High density drug area funding was applied for, but we did not meet the level in this area which
has good and bad points. However, being I-15 is a highly traveled drug corridor, and as a result,
the Bannock county area where I-15 meets I-84/86 intensifies this, Bannock has also applied for
this funding, and it was granted.
Sex trafficking is also an issue on the I-15 corridor.
There is concern for THC in the vaping products, for THC is very harmful to the brain for
underage users contrary to popular belief.
There is a shortage of jail space, so only the higher offending cases are given jail time. Lesser
offenses are plea bargained as a result. It would cost $20M to build a new jail which is needed.
The cost is $96/day per inmate.
All areas of law enforcement are understaffed due to the current social environment regarding
police. They are hiring and getting great candidates.
Murders increase from drugs, gangs and domestic violence.
They are heavily monitoring the speeding on Pancheri and Sunnyside.
All public parks are closed at 11PM due to a recent ordinance. This has helped with the
homeless problem in that area. If the homeless settle on private property, it is up to the owner
to lodge a complaint. Any other public area due to Constitutional rights, they cannot be made
All areas of law enforcement work with the schools (public, private and charter) regarding
safety which includes the handling of school shootings and drugs. They meet with other
agencies in the county to monitor any students of concern. The first officer at a school knows to
subdue the threat and not to stand down. Response time depends on the location of the school
and the officers. The best way to handle is prevention.
There is currently about a 1000 felonies per year.
Crime statistics are available on each division’s website.
Always call with anything suspicious. If it is active, the response will be given a higher priority.
Always remove any graffiti as soon as possible. There are 2 types of graffiti. One comes from
the lesser taggers usually into a lesser degree of drugs, and the other is gang tagging. We do
have gangs in the area.