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Sandpoint Police Department
Providing over One-Hundred years
Of Pride and Service

Built by the railroad and the timber industries over 100 years ago, Sandpoint has become one of the most diverse towns in the northwest. Sandpoint is located just sixty miles from the Canadian border on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, the largest lake in Idaho at forty-three miles long and over twelve-hundred feet deep. The lake offers unlimited and unmatched recreational amenities to the area and the city. Three major highways access Sandpoint: State Highway 95 from the north and south and State Highway 2 from the west and State Highway 200 from the east.

Its first inhabitants were the ancestors of the Kalispell Indians who hunted and fished on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. These people called it “Point of Sand”.

David Thompson of the North West Company first mentions the area in his journal on April 24, 1810. He traded goods for a native bark canoe and later that day pushed off from “Point of Sand” into the Lake Pend Oreille.

Mining in Montana and British Colombia from 1866 to 1876 brought miners and other visitors through the area en-route to the gold fields. This boom lasted into the 1880’s when the gold fields began to play out.

It was not until the Northern Transcontinental Railroad decided that the area was the right place for their tracks to be laid that the area really began to grow. The Great Northern Railroad built a depot near the “Point of Sand” and called it Sand Point, two words. As the lumber industry in the mid-west began to see the end of marketable lumber in that region, the railroad and lumber companies moved west. Sandpoint became the next rich region for the lumber needed to support a growing nation.

Timber soon built a community on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille next to the Great Northern Depot at Sand Point. On February 7, 1901, the Village of Sandpoint was incorporated. On February 28, 1901, the villages’ board of trustees appointed the village’s first “Marshal”. “Moved by C.F. Ewing and supported by J.M. Bradley that Constable George W. De Karr be appointed Marshal until further notice.”

On January 15, 1907 Sandpoint became a City; this was followed in April 1907 with an election which moved the City of Sandpoint into a Mayor/Council form of government. On April 30th, 1907 that the Sandpoint Marshal’s office became the Sandpoint Police Department. P.H. Moran was appointed as the first Chief of Police of the City of Sandpoint.

Many things have changed since Marshal De Karr was appointed Village Marshal and Chief Moran began to manage the police department, but the need for keepers of the peace has remained. Today the Sandpoint Police Department is currently comprised of twenty-six full-time employees. It has four divisions that provide service and protection to the city’s population of almost 9000. Sandpoint has the designation as being the county seat of Bonner County, which makes it the hub of the county.

With only twenty-one sworn officers, a handful of “Level One” reserve officers, five non-sworn support personnel, the department more and more finds its resources pushed to the limit. Sandpoint is a small town, but at times finds itself faced with big city challenges. Sandpoint has evolved from a lumber town to a Destination Resort community which has brought with it the challenges of a transient population which attend the year round events, festivals and vacation opportunities. Many of these events can swell the population of citizens and visitors to four times its sleeping population.

Northern Idaho has a beat all its own, and that beat seems to be accelerating in its needs and wants. It is our goal to continue the proud traditions that began over one-hundred years ago. This is accomplished with a staff of highly trained and motivated individuals who have high standards, values and ethics. It includes a team approach with our community in order to meet the challenges of the day. With the service and protection provided being centered on the fair and ethical treatment of all people. This is the day to day mission of the Sandpoint Police Department.


Police Chiefs from 1907 - Present

Corey Coon 2012 Present
R. Mark Lockwood 2000 2012
Bill Kice 1982 2000
Robert Wilcox 1978 1982
Larry Sterling 1976 1978
Richard Abbott 1974 1976
George Elliot 1961 1974
H. H. McCrum 1953 1961
George O'Donnel 1945 1953
J. C. Haviland 1943 1945
Roland Parker 1937 1943
Dan Grigg 1936 1937
? Nelson 1934 1936
? Peters 1932 1934
Frank Bratton 1920 1925
Ernest Kitchen 1917 1920
John Jaeger 1914 1917
G. A. Hurd 1913 1914
Henry C. Traue 1909 1913
G. A. Hurd 1908 1909
J. H. Stewart 1908 1908
Guy Hurd 1907 1908
P. H. Moran 1907 1907

 

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