Oregon Marijuana Has Idaho Police Concerned About Idaho Jail Capacity
PAYETTE, Idaho (KTVB) -- The legalization of marijuana in neighboring Oregon is concerning one local police department. It could change their patrols and even how they recruit new officers.
Payette Police Chief Mark Clark said when the law passed to make recreational marijuana legal in Oregon, he was worried about how it would affect things on our side of the border.
"I have concerns when it comes to our jail capacity, things like that," said Chief Clark. "Recreational use, obviously people aren't going to pay much attention to that bridge over there."
He is also worried about people driving in Payette with pot.
"I think people will be traveling through our area, going into Oregon and purchasing it," said Clark. "We've got big metropolitan areas like Boise, Caldwell, Nampa. I anticipate that there will be quite a bit of traffic coming from that direction into Oregon."
Chief Clark said it's also going to affect his hiring pool. The rules for the Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training academy, or POST, says a candidate must not have smoked marijuana in the last three years. Clark recalls "many" applicants who haven't met that requirement over the past few years.
"I've definitely seen a reduction in applications," he said. "Five years ago, we would get fifty applicants for one patrol position. We're looking at maybe fifteen, twenty maybe now, so it's a definite decrease just in the applicants."
He also said that many Payette Police applicants come from Oregon.
"I think now, yeah, that's going to be an issue," Clark said. "Now that its legal over there for recreational use, people are all going to be subject to having it around them, people using it around them, possibly them using it. I think its definitely going to be an issue."
How do they know if job candidates has smoked pot in the last three years? They ask candidates during the interview and polygraph test.