Wednesday afternoon/evening, a portion of Chinden Blvd between 10 Mile and Black Cat was closed. Meridian Police, along with the Ada County Sheriff's Office, was responding to an armed standoff. Tragically the suspect took his own life after hours of negotiating with various police agencies.

As I passed the sections of Chinden that were blocked off, I said a silent thank you to our local law enforcement officers. We continue to see efforts in other parts of the country to defund the police. Critics continue to say that law enforcement needs to be reformed. I don't see it that way; what type of world would we live in without law enforcement men and women?

We don't have to imagine it; we have to monitor what's happening in cities like Portland, Oregon. I had a chance to watch the local news while visiting the Oregon Coast. The reporters cover protests like Idaho weather forecasters cover sunny days. The abnormal has become the norm.

The Idaho quality of life is an enormous magnet to the thousands who move to the Gem State each year. Without a continued increase in funding for local, county, and state law enforcement, our quality of life will be jeopardized. No one likes to pay more money in taxes. However, there is no question that the return on investment in funding law enforcement is well worth the costs.

Idahoans must remain vigilant and supportive of the men and women who wear the badge every day. We all know the motto: To protect and serve. It's up to us to repay those folks by protecting their service to Idaho.

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