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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Benewah Sheriff Kirts: ‘It’s a law thing, it’s not human relations’

Benewah County Sheriff Bob Kirts is dismissing an open letter to lawmakers from the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations about law-enforcement problems in Benewah County, signed by task force vice president Christie Wood, saying, "My only comment is she's ill-informed or she's just plain lying or stupid." He said, "I'm not really concerned about it - I represent the people of Benewah County, this is what they want so that's what we're going to do." Wood is a Coeur d'Alene police sergeant, department spokeswoman, a former Coeur d'Alene school trustee and current chair of the North Idaho College board of trustees.

Kirts, who's been Benewah sheriff for five years, is a former state trooper and also served as Benewah sheriff from 1980 to 1988, at which time the county did have cross-deputization with the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Police. "That was canceled because they started to violate people's rights by citing non-tribal members into tribal courts and that type of thing," Kirts said. "I think it was terminated in '07; at that time I left them the rights to arrest DUIs or handle emergencies, and they chose not to do that at all, all they do is complain about not being able to do anything." He added, "It's a law thing, it's not human relations. I don't know what ... Christie's talking about."

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.