Holiday All Quiet In North Idaho Fourth Not Rowdy Like ‘96 As Revelers Keep It ‘Mellow’
There were few legal headaches for revelers after July Fourth, no morning-after blues for the cops.
“This was just mellow. Totally mellow,” Anne Andreason of North Shore Rentals said Saturday, as tourists stopped by to check out the pedal-boats near City Beach.
This year’s holiday celebration in Coeur d’Alene was a whole lot calmer than Independence Day 1996.
“We just about lost it last year,” said Coeur d’Alene Police Lt. Dean McMillen.
The police department’s response was to call in reinforcements. This time, 44 city officers and reservists were aided by 18 sheriff’s deputies and 20 Idaho State Police officers.
As many as 70 uniformed bodies at a time were walking, driving and bicycling among the revelers.
Maybe that’s what prevented a repeat of the 1996 rowdiness, which included fights, a stabbing and a drunken driver who nearly ran over pedestrians.
Or maybe, McMillen speculated, the rowdies just stayed away from the downtown waterfront on Friday night.
Whatever the cause, “it was a pleasant surprise,” said Kootenai County Sgt. Neal Robertson, who worked at the inter-agency command center.
There were no felony arrests. There was no rush for cells at the Kootenai County jail. In fact, a jail officer said, Thursday night was busier.
Police reported 90 misdemeanors, relating to the use of fireworks, alcohol and tobacco. People got nabbed for littering and having their dogs in the park. There were some arrests for battery.
There were 74 parking tickets issued and 23 traffic citations.
Twenty officers from as far away as Idaho Falls and Pocatello came to Coeur d’Alene as part of the state police Crowd Intervention Team. They did what Cpl. Chris Schenck called “community policing” - dealing with lost kids and lost wallets - during the day.
In the evening, they helped local officers with crowd control.
“It worked out fabulous,” said Schenck. “It freed our local (state police) people to be out on patrol.”
He didn’t know what it cost to bring in the intervention team, but said “I’m sure it was well worth it.”
Throughout the region, sheriff’s deputies reported a quiet holiday.
The Washington State Patrol reported six arrests for drunken driving, however, two that resulted in accidents, but no one was hurt.
There was just one fire reported in Spokane - firefighters were called to a Saturday morning garage fire on the E. 900 block of 37th, only to find neighbors already dousing flames - and none in Spokane Valley.