Gov. Brad Little serves as Idaho’s 33rd governor. (Courtesy of Brad Little)
Idaho State Police troopers and dispatchers began receiving $1,000 hazard duty bonuses last week that were funded by a federal coronavirus stimulus package.
Altogether, 320 Idaho State Police personnel received the bonuses, including patrol troopers, detectives, vehicle enforcement specialists and regional communications officers, who are the dispatchers that take the emergency calls.
All commissioned Idaho State Police personnel received the bonuses, said Lynn Hightower, Idaho State Police communications director.
Gov. Brad Little announced the bonuses in May. He called the program, which cost $320,000, “Defend the Police.” The bonuses were paid for with some of Idaho’s share of funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, that the U.S. Congress passed in March 2020, Little’s spokeswoman Marissa Morrison Hyer said.
“Idaho truly is a state that ‘backs the blue.’ While other places seek to ‘defund the police,’ here in Idaho we are defending the police,” Little said in a press release on Wednesday.
“Our men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect us,” Little added. “The $1,000 ‘Defend the Police’ payments are one small way we can recognize their courage and sacrifice.”
Hazard duty pay has been a common use of CARES Act funds. In 2020, CARES Act funds were used to pay for bonuses for about 2,000 state employees whose roles focused on public health and public safety, Hyer said.
Leaders from several school districts also used their share of CARES Act money to pay for bonuses for educators on the front lines during the pandemic. The West Ada, Idaho Falls and Nampa school districts were among those offering teachers and staff one-time hazard duty bonuses, Idaho Education News reported last year.
Overall, Idaho received about $1.2 billion in CARES Act money last year.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.