The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that there were over 281 federal law enforcement officers with arrest and firearms authority working in the Gem State in 2008. Individuals are attracted to Idaho both because of its natural beauty and its lower-than-average 6.1 unemployment rate (national average 7.2). Most federal law enforcement agencies have an active presence in Idaho.
A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field like criminal justice or homeland security is generally a requirement for federal law enforcement jobs. Idaho residents are fortunate that their state is home to an ample number of accredited educational institutions. These Idaho schools include:
- 3 state universities
- 5 state colleges
- 5 private universities
- 7 private colleges
Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Operating in Idaho
- Bureau of Alcohol. Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) – Boise (field office)
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Boise (field office)
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – Boise (resident office)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – Boise (resident agency)
- Federal Protective Service (FPS) – Boise (region 10 field office)
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – Bonner’s Ferry (field office), Boise, Eastport, Porthill (ports of entry)
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – Boise, Idaho Falls, Pocatello (field offices)
- U.S. Marshals Service – Boise (district office)
- U.S. Probation Administration – Boise (district office), Moscow, Pocatello, Twin Falls (field offices), Coeur D’Alene (tribal resources office)
- U.S. Park Service (Rangers) – See Below
- U.S. Secret Service – Boise (field office)
National Park Service Career Opportunities in Idaho
The beautiful, mountainous state of Idaho has a wide variety of national parks, monuments and reserves at which national park rangers are employed. These include:
- Yellowstone National Park – with Montana and Wyoming
- Nez Perce National Historic Park – with Montana, Oregon, Washington
- Minidoka National Historic Site – Jerome, ID
- Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument – Hagerman, ID
- Craters of the Moon National Monument/Reserve – Arco, Carey and Rupert, ID
- City of Rocks National Monument – Almo, ID
- California, Lewis & Clark, and Oregon National Historic Trails
Federal Border Patrol Job Opportunities in Idaho
Idaho has a 45-mile-long border with British Columbia, Canada. Idaho belongs to the Spokane sector of the CBP which employs 257 agents (2011). The Idaho field office in Bonner’s Ferry is situated roughly 50 miles from the Canadian border. Agents working out of Bonner’s Ferry cover the large territory from Priest River in Northwest Idaho to the Yaak Mountains in the West. CBP agents in Idaho also work at Boise’s major airport and two Canadian ports of entry. CBP agents must speak Spanish or be able to learn it. Starting annual salaries range from $38,619 to $49,029 depending upon education and experience.
Famous Federal Law Enforcement Operations in Idaho
Perhaps because of its vast wilderness areas, Idaho has traditionally been a popular place for fugitives to hide out. Most recently, the highly publicized kidnapping of 16-year-old Hannah Anderson from National City, CA in early August of 2013, resulted in a nationwide FBI manhunt that ended on August 10 in Idaho’s “Frank Church-River of No Return” wilderness area. FBI agents from all over the country joined those in Idaho to track down kidnapper James Di Maggio who was also wanted for killing Hannah’s mother, little brother and their family dog. A gunfight resulted in the fatal shooting of Di Maggio and successful rescue of Hannah by FBI agents.
Idaho was earlier in the national spotlight In August of 1992 when a task force of federal law enforcement officers from the ATF, FBI, US Marshals Service and US Attorney’s Office descended on a cabin in Ruby Ridge, Idaho to capture fugitive Randy Weaver, wanted on illegal weapons charges. The massive operation precipitated a lengthy shoot-out which unfortunately killed Weaver’s wife and 13-year-old son. An intensive investigation by the FBI and the US Congress led to a number of reforms regarding federal law enforcement tactics and procedures.