BOISE -- A special ceremony this week at the Idaho Statehouse honored Idaho State Police and the agency's 75 years of service to the state.
"Today is a big day for ISP," said Captain Bill Gardiner. "It's our 75th anniversary. We started in 1939. That's when the Idaho State Police Act was officially signed."
Gardiner was just one of the current and former officers and dignitaries at the Capitol this week for the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Idaho State Police. Along with all the people, there were also numerous exhibits and classic patrol cars on display.
"It's really a reflection of our past, not only to help officers remember where we've come from, but also to the citizens to recognize the history that's involved in their own state," Gardiner said.
That's the real message of this anniversary.
"If you study ISP, in a sense, you're studying Idaho history," Gardiner said. "As Idaho has changed, so has ISP. We were originally started off by Governor Davis in 1919 under a different name. But, he created the organization to deal with corruption within mining camps. So, that gives you a good picture of what the state was dealing with at the time. In 1939, the year prior to that, US 95 was completed, connecting Northern and Southern Idaho. Therein became the emphasis of highway safety and traffic safety."
Gardiner says to help people understand all that's changed, and what hasn't, is priceless. In 1939 ISP was about protecting Idahoans, and in 2014, the mission is the same.
"Our state has a long history, and it isn't just the only time you deal with ISP is behind the ticket."
Kelly Kast has even written a book celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Idaho State Police. You can find it here.