New candidate for Sheriff in Kootenai County

New candidate for Sheriff in Kootenai County


By Casey Whalen


The race for Kootenai County Sheriff has just increased with the announcement of candidate, John Grimm of Hayden, Idaho.  The long time business man and manufacturer has lived in Kootenai County for 15 years, after relocating from Southern California.


Some of his accomplishments include: licensed pilot and aviation enthusiast, advisor to the KTEC – Kootenai Technical Education Campus – Automation and Engineering department annually teaching students how to successfully apply for a job and be a good employee.  Assistant-Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster of the Year awards for the entire Old Missions District teaching wilderness survival & leadership skills to young men.


John and wife Sara, met while they were volunteers with Boy Scout Troop 201, have six children, one son-in-law, and one grandchild.  Sara has worked for the Coeur d’Alene School District for over ten years.


“I have been a member of a reserve deputy program in Idaho; I have Idaho law-enforcement experience.”  Grimm says he has seriously been thinking about running for sheriff since 2012.


As far as property rights are concerned he states that, “private property rights are sacred.”  And he supports the Kootenai County opt out plan.


What does the 2nd amendment mean to John Grimm?


The prior NRA rifle instructor states, “The Bill of Rights do not grant us anything and nor does it apply to us, it applies to the government.  It is a document restricting what the government can do.  Basically, it’s a whole bunch of here is what you (the government) cannot do.  You can do this, this and this, within these boundaries of restrictions.”


The 26 year business owner feels he can fix the KCSO (Kootenai County Sheriff Office) budget.  The county budget accounts for only about 27 percent of your property tax bill, the sheriff’s budget makes up the largest portion.


“As Kootenai County Sheriff, I will submit an accurate budget.  I will work with our commissioners, build rapport and develop mutual trust and respect.  Spending your hard-earned money is not something I will take lightly,“ states Grimm.


One of Mr. Grimm’s areas of focus is retention and hiring of the KCSO, according to his website  He says, “The problem is not just wages; it almost never is.  People don’t leave good organizations, they leave bad managers.


He has a 5 point plan to solve the hiring retention problem:

  1. Employees need to be appreciated and valued, this comes from the top.
  2. 360 degree reviews, to eliminate even the appearance of favoritism, performance and advancement evaluations will include feedback from coworkers and subordinates.
  3. Encourage and recognize employees, both non-sworn and sworn, who expand their training.
  4. Hire more deputies; the current staff is simply spread too thin. By re-examining the hiring process in its entirety, without lowering standards.  Actively recruit among the community. Bring back an explorer program for area youth.  Rebuild the reserve deputy program.
  5. Work with the county commissioners and the tax payers to allocate more money to hire more deputies and increase wages where needed.



Other key points of his plan are to continually improve both community relations and the safety of Kootenai County, including:


  1. A weekly Sheriff’s live-stream.
  2. Back to basics patrol by having more deputies on fewer special assignments and allow them to focus on their jobs instead of delegating superfluous tasks.
  3. Better use of technology and management, steadily work through and solve backlog crimes.
  4. An aggressive program to reduce domestic violence.
  5. Create non-arrest pathways for some opioid addicts by implementing P.A.A.R.I. (Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative).
  6. Crack down on aggressive driving.
  7. Mental health and disability awareness training, to help officers identify and how to appropriately respond.
  8. Start a youth explorer post program.
  9. Solve the problems at the Driver’s License Office to make it more efficient for the everyday person.
  10. Remove the word “civilian” from the department’s vocabulary.


It is up to voters to decide on a new sheriff for Kootenai County, May 19, 2020.


    “Something my mother told me when I was a boy; when someone has little to show by way of accomplishments, they tend to focus on how long they’ve been on the job, rather than how effective they’ve been.  Consequently, one of my guiding principles is: Any job worth doing is worth doing well.”


photos by Casey Whalen


Casey Whalen is a freelance journalist for his You Tube site North Idaho Exposed