HAYDEN, Idaho — The signs are everywhere. Hayden is growing.
Kootenai County Lieutenant Zachary Sifford sees it.
"Hayden has big box stores now and a lot of alcohol sales so it's not the small-town Hayden it used to be," Lt. Sifford says.
Right now, four sheriff's deputies patrol Hayden, which doesn't have its own police department.
"Most calls now days are not one-deputy calls, it's two or three deputies responding," Lt. Sifford says. "So, we're drawing out resources from other parts of the county."
That's why more deputies are being assigned to Hayden. The Kootenai County Commissioners approved an agreement to pay for more deputies for the city through September, the end of the fiscal year.
"About $58,000 a month," Lt. Sifford explains.
That sum also includes central dispatch fees and paying a school resource officer.
Looking ahead to October, the start of a new fiscal year, a voter-approved levy will increase Hayden's budget by $543,843 to add six additional deputies.
In total, ten deputies will patrol the streets in Hayden within the next two fiscal years, Lt. Sifford explains. "There's going to be three additional ones now and we'll re-examine that in 2024 to hire more."
Even those ten deputies may not be enough for a community experiencing more growth and more crime.
"There was an initial study done in 2020 that suggested around 18 to 20 officers are needed to sufficiently staff the city of Hayden," Lt. Sifford says. "So, we're not there yet, but this is a step in the right direction."
KREM 2 asked the City of Hayden about adding its own police department. The city clerk tells us via email, "The City Council has not considered establishing its own police department since 2010 and it has not been discussed by the current council."
DOWNLOAD THE KREM SMARTPHONE APP
DOWNLOAD FOR IPHONE HERE | DOWNLOAD FOR ANDROID HERE
HOW TO ADD THE KREM+ APP TO YOUR STREAMING DEVICE
ROKU: add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KREM in the Channel Store.
Fire TV: search for "KREM" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.
To report a typo or grammatical error, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.