Skip to Content

Idaho Falls School District 91 and Idaho Falls Police Department still working closely together

Idaho Falls School District 91 may be getting more police presence at schools in fall 2019.

A staffing shortage with the Idaho Falls Police Department in 2018 meant Idaho Falls School District 91 could not continue with the D.A.R.E. program in its schools.

“At that time, we made the decision to pull our officers out of the D.A.R.E. program in order to assign them to more critical needs within the city,” said Jessica Clements, the public information officer for the Idaho Falls Police Department.

The Idaho Falls Police Department said it has made progress since the staffing shortage.

The D.A.R.E. program was taught for 27 years. But since its suspension, District 91 has been looking for a new character development program.

After extensive research, the district’s committee decided to go forward with the Second Step program.

“The thing that (the committee) liked about the Second Step program was that it seemed to be more comprehensive, the topics seemed to be more relevant and current,” said Margaret Wimborne, the director of communications and community engagement for Idaho Falls School District 91. “There were also some components to include families.”

After incorporating the Second Step program this past year, the elementary school counselors with District 91 will continue to use it for next year.

The Idaho Falls Police Department said they support the district’s decision. But it has left the Police Department wanting to be more involved in the schools.

“We are adding an additional school resource officer that’s in our budget proposal that is going through an approval process right now,” Clements said.

As well, they hope to expand the “Blue in the School” program. That way they can build positive relationships between students and law enforcement.

“(It is) a fun program in our elementary schools in the area where we have an officer assigned to our schools, and then they can interact with kids throughout the school year and spend time with them,” Clements said.

This fourth school resource officer will only further improve relationships with the students.

“We’ve been operating with just three (school resource officers) this past school year with all the schools in our district,” said Christopher Reed, a school resource officer for the Idaho Falls Police Department. “If the budget approval goes through by adding this fourth, it is going to allow us to focus more on the schools that we are in.”

The Police Department also hopes it minimizes the stigma of law enforcement.

“One thing that I love about this position is that it humanizes me to these kids so that they’re able to come to talk to me,” Reed said. “It’s going to be fun as I progress in this (position) and I get to know more kids and build those relationships with them. Just letting them know, I’m a person too.”

With the increased involvement in School District 91, the Idaho Falls Police Department believes there may be opportunities to work with students on character development and drug prevention.

“We anticipate that there will be opportunities for officers to support district staff as they teach lessons about relevant topics, such as tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, and illegal substance use,” wrote Chief Bryce Johnson in a letter to the Idaho Falls and Bonneville County D.A.R.E. board.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

News Team


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content