Power County Sheriff Jim Jeffries has announced he will not seek re-election and will retire at the end of his term in January of 2021. Jeffries will have logged over 38 years of public service at the time of his retirement.
Jeffries began working at the Power County Sheriff’s Office in 1982 as a part-time dispatcher and reserve patrol deputy. He worked his way through the ranks and was chief deputy when former Sheriff Howard Sprague retired in 2005. At that time, he decided to run for sheriff. Jeffries won in that election, and was elected three more times.
In addition to being Sheriff, in 2006, Jeffries also worked for the City of American Falls as the interim chief of police for eight months. There was no increase in salary for this service, but “that was just fine with me,” Jeffries said.
“When I rotated out of the position as acting chief, the city awarded me with a Chief of Police Badge, which I will always treasure,” he said.
While at the city, Jeffries found grants for safety equipment and changed expenditures to save the city money. “It was an honor to have been sheriff and chief of police at the same time,” he said.
The Power County Sheriff’s Office has also saw changes in the budget while Jeffries was there.
“A big challenge has always been with the budget; to get what we need in the workplace such as safety equipment and to create a good working environment in order to attract and keep great deputies. I have been lucky to have a good board of county commissioners to see the vision of where I wanted to lead the sheriff’s office and work with me toward goals I set to address the endless list of unfunded mandates placed at the sheriff’s door,” Jeffries said. “One example is that our jail is certified by the Idaho Jail Standards, which reduces the county’s liability and keeps insurance costs down for the taxpayers. We are respected by other agencies and people looking for employment want to work for us.”
When he was a detective, Jeffries was well known as a hard-charging criminal investigator. He has received numerous awards for his service throughout his career. He has investigated virtually every kind of criminal case there is, he said, and was instrumental in the creation of the Idaho Sexual Battery and Stalking laws.
Jeffries said, “The Power County Sheriff’s Deputies are our most valuable and important asset. For example in 2014, for the first time in our county history, they put together a Deputies Association and more recently an Honor Guard. They respect each other and have good morale and they are people I am very proud of and privileged to have worked with. I will miss them and will not stop worrying about them.”
The thought of being away from them is one of the hardest things about the retirement process, Jeffries said.
Jeffries is very thankful for all the people who supported him and helped him through the years.
“A big heartfelt thank you for allowing me to serve as your sheriff for 16 years. It has been a great honor and privilege”, he said.
In retirement Jeffries said he plans to do some woodworking and spend more time with family and friends.
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