Without Compromise: The History of the Idaho State Police, by Kelly Cast. July 2013. 352 pages. ISBN-13 978-0945648093. $16.95 (softcover; inquire about the hardcover edition).
This is the story of the Idaho State Police – and an important part of the story of Idaho over the last 75 years it has been in existence and helped maintain the law and citizen safety. It’s been a journey ranging from barely-functioning motor vehicles and hardly-there roads to computer and biotechnology – a long way.
Kelly Kast has spent years researching the history and interviewing scores of current and former state police, and has emerged with a remarkably detailed and engrossing story of Idaho.
Some of what the Idaho State Police do emerges in newspaper headlines and local TV news reports. But only pieces of it: Those are only glimpses of the larger story. Without Compromise tells the story of what lies behind those headlines, and of the often remarkable men and women involved.
A note from Deputy Director Kedrick Wills:
One of the earliest memories I have is watching my father, Corporal Richard Wills, ISP 550, (retired) polish his boots and brass to prepare for an Idaho State Police inspection. I recall him shining each individual bullet, because with the leather of the day, you could see the spare bullets he had for his pistol on his belt. I recall thinking my father was literally a superhero and that Idaho State Police was where the best of the best went to work every day. It was during those formative years, as I watched the pride and esprit de corps of the organization, I, like many others, decided to follow a father’s example and become an Idaho State Police Trooper. It was with so much pride that I stood, together with my brother and ATC #15 classmate, Kipton, in the rotunda of our Capitol, and watched our father pin the five point Idaho State Police star on each of our chests, to become among the elite and wear the distinctive Idaho State Police campaign cover. Even today, I cannot think of that moment in time without sitting up a little taller and feeling a little more proud to be counted among the members of such an elite organization.
Idaho State Police has a proud history of providing quality service to our state. It is due to those who decided to make a career of service, that this history is so rich with personal sacrifice. It is the missed family events, the lost sleep, the long shifts and the tough duty assignments, handled with such professionalism that sets Idaho State Police apart from any other organization.
In short, it is the people that make the organization. Regardless of assignment, duty location, or job description, every part of Idaho State Police shares in its rich history, because of the caliber of people who work every day to make the Idaho State Police star shine brighter. To those of us who now carry this torch, it is up to each of us to make sure that when we leave, the Idaho State Police is better than it was when we joined. It is up to each of us to remember all those who sacrificed before us, so we can enjoy this great organization we are a part of today. It is our responsibility to ensure their sacrifices were not in vain. This is our turn to handle the watch. We cannot fail because those who have gone before us sacrificed too much and have placed in us the confidence to hold steadfast, the Idaho State Police during our watch. To those who will come after us, it is your responsibility to carry this organization into the future, so that the citizens of Idaho can look upon the next 75 years of Idaho State Police history with as much pride as we all have in the service and sacrifices of those who shaped the past 75 years.
I am profoundly thankful I have had the opportunity to be counted a member of the Idaho State Police and humbly appreciate those who have carried the torch before me. Thank you to Kelly Kast for her efforts in making this book to honor the history and the members of Idaho State Police and for her willingness to share her talents with us so we can all learn to more fully appreciate our rich Idaho State Police heritage.