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Idaho governor, police leaders report on their recent visit to Texas border

The Idaho governor's office created a montage of images from the governor's recent visit to the southern U.S. border.
Doug Nadvornick/Spokane Public Radio
The Idaho governor's office created a montage of images from the governor's recent visit to the southern U.S. border.

Idaho state troopers are getting a real world lesson about finding and stopping the drug traffic. State Police Director Kedrick Wills says two teams of six have served short stints with law enforcement agencies in Texas. Wills joined Governor Brad Little for a stop in Coeur d’Alene Monday to report on their mission.

“The shortest term goal is helping Texas while we’re there and being a force multiplier for Texas Department of Public Safety," said Idaho State Police Director Kedrick Wills.

"The longer term goal is to come back and teach those things here in Idaho, to be more effective at what we’re already doing. Our troopers are extremely talented, but they’re not getting the kind of information in Idaho because it’s just not seen in the numbers and the quantity of drugs or human smuggling, human trafficking, those kinds of things like they’re seeing down there," he said.

"For them to get eyes on and to get real world experience is really something they can’t get in those numbers in Idaho.”

Wills says a six-officer team recently returned from the Lone Star State. Another six-member team is due back this week.

“We’re learning about concealment methods. We’re learning about criminal interdiction techniques the people are using to bring crime into the United States from outside the United States and then that translates into bringing it into Idaho as well," he said. "So we’re learning to combat the things that they’re seeing down there because it’s the same thing that we will see here and are already seeing it, but not in the numbers they’re seeing it in Texas.”

Wills says his officers saw illicit drugs of all kinds. Here in Idaho, he says troopers are seeing more drivers with fentanyl during their traffic stoops.

Little’s office says Idaho is one of 13 states sending officers and National Guard members to the southern border to help with stopping the flow of drugs into the U.S.

He says he joined eight other governors in late May for briefings from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the state's military and public safety departments.

During his Coeur d'Alene visit, Little also recounted the workIdaho's state government is working to raise awareness of the dangers of fentanyl.

He says Idaho is also increasing its enforcement capabilities, providing more roadside drug testing equipment for troopers. He says it will also create a statewide drug interdiction team to attempt to find sources of fentanyl as it's imported into the state.

Doug Nadvornick has spent most of his 30+-year radio career at Spokane Public Radio and filled a variety of positions. He is currently the program director and news director. Through the years, he has also been the local Morning Edition and All Things Considered host (not at the same time). He served as the Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network, based in Coeur d’Alene. He created the original program grid for KSFC. He has also served for several years as a board member for Public Media Journalists Association. During his years away from SPR, he worked at The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Washington State University in Spokane and KXLY Radio.