It’s official — Craig Kingsbury will be Twin Falls’ next police chief.
The City Council approved his appointment by a 6-0 vote Monday evening.
Kingsbury is the Nampa police chief, having spent 24 years in the department and risen through the ranks, City Manager Travis Rothweiler said as he presented Kingsbury’s appointment to the Council.
The Council includes two former Twin Falls police officers — Mayor Don Hall and Councilman Jim Munn, who was the chief before Brian Pike.
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“That’s our home, and we want it to be in the right hands, and we have full confidence in your ability to lead this organization,” Hall said.
City officials announced a month ago that Kingsbury was the finalist for the job, and he is resigning from the Nampa department effective Dec. 17.
The police chief job in Twin Falls opened up when Pike was promoted to deputy city manager for public safety almost a year ago as part of a reorganization of the city’s administrative structure. Capt. Bryan Krear was then bumped up to interim chief. Krear plans to retire at the end of this year after a quarter-century with the department, Pike said, and Kingsbury will take the reins at the beginning of January at a $115,000 yearly salary.
Rothweiler drew parallels between developments in Nampa while Kingsbury was there as deputy chief with upcoming developments in Twin Falls. One was the construction of a new public safety building in Nampa, which opened in 2012. Twin Falls is in the midst of planning a new public safety complex which will include the renovation of the current police department and extra space for the police in what is currently the City Hall.
Rothweiler also brought up the Nampa department’s adoption of body cameras several years ago. Twin Falls got a federal grant to equip its officers with body cameras earlier this year, and the current plan is to start using them next year after developing a policy for their use.
Kingsbury’s qualifications are “exactly what a growing metropolis, a mini-metropolis like Twin Falls needs,” Councilman Chris Talkington said.
After the vote, Kingsbury told the Times-News he sees parallels between the challenges he faced in Nampa and ones he will face in Twin Falls.
“Twin Falls is experiencing that growth right now that we were experiencing in Nampa several years ago,” he said.
Body camera use policies have been a topic of debate as more departments have adopted them, and the issue came into the news again after Adams County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed rancher Jack Yantis on Nov. 1. That department has not yet said whether the deputies’ body cameras were on or recorded the shooting.
Officers in Nampa are required to have their body cameras on whenever they have a reasonable expectation that they could take an enforcement action, and Kingsbury would seek to implement a similar policy in Twin Falls, he said.
“Generally speaking, they leave them on,” he said.
Body cameras have proven useful in Nampa, he said, both in recording evidence that has been used in court and in providing a record of what happened when a complaint is filed against police.
“It’s been a real positive,” he said.