The Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation is pleased to announce that they recently secured a $110,000 grant from the Cross Foundation in support of the Idaho Falls Police Department. The GIFPF Board has allocated the $110,000 to specific programs and needs within the Idaho Falls Police Department in accordance with this grant.
The largest portion of the grant, $54,000, has been allocated to support a new program at the Idaho Falls Police Department that enables officers to participate in regular Brazilian jiu jitsu training. According to research, police officers who receive enhanced training in a discipline like jiu jitsu are less likely to injure themselves or subjects when using physical force is necessary in the course of their duties. Research also shows that this advanced training may lead to lower use of force rates overall, including both the frequency of use of force incidents and the level of force utilized.
Normally, a new Idaho Falls Police Officer will receive 120 hours of training in arrest control techniques (which is largely martial arts based) within their first year of initial training. Current Idaho POST standards require 8 hours of training in this area each year for officers to maintain their POST certification. Through this program, participating officers will receive up to 54 hours of additional jiu jitsu training from certified black belt instructors at local jiu jitsu facilities.
The Idaho Falls Police Department began a pilot jiu jitsu program with two new Idaho Falls Police Officers in the Spring of last year. Since that time, all new Idaho Falls Police Officers, 10 officers in total, have been required to complete one year of weekly jiu jitsu training as part of their initial training. These officers, who started at different points since Spring 2022, are all still within that first year of training.
The $54,000 secured by the Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation and allocated to this program has allowed the department to expand the pilot program to additional Idaho Falls Police Officers who have been with the department longer term. The funds enable the department to pay participating officers up to one hour per week of overtime for the Officer to attend jiu jitsu training on their personal time. Officers may choose to attend additional classes each week beyond the one hour paid by the department.
The department began this second phase of the jiu jitsu program at the start of 2023 and has 18 officers currently participating, in addition to the 10 officers still within their first year of service with IFPD. The program will be evaluated in the future for its effectiveness and possible expansion.
The remaining $56,000 grant funds have been allocated to other needs within the department. $30,000 have been set aside to support the IFPD K9 program with an additional $18,800 allocated to convert current patrol vehicles to be K9 compatible. IFPD recently expanded the K9 program from three K9 handlers and K9s, to six K9 handlers with a total of eight K9s. Two of those K9s are approaching retirement.
A remaining $7,200 in grant funds are being utilized to expand IFPD’s mental health program for officers and emergency communications officers.
In response to the grant, Chairman of the Board Eric Isom said, "We appreciate the Cross Foundation’s continued support and partnership with the Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation in helping to make our community more safe and helping individuals affected with life challenges."
“We are incredibly thankful to the Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation for securing this grant on our behalf and to them and the Cross Foundation for seeing the value in these programs,” said Idaho Falls Police Chief Bryce Johnson. “As a taxpayer funded entity, we have to be extremely judicious with the tax dollars allotted to us. Grants like this one help us to stretch those dollars, and to support programs we believe will benefit our community.”
The Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation (GIFPF) is an independent, citizen-run nonprofit that helps make a difference in our community's safety and crime prevention efforts. Our organization was formed to provide local law enforcement with an extra measure of support and other resources that better protect our community. To learn more about the Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation visit our website at www.ifpolicefoundation.org.