The City of Moscow is nestled in the rolling hills of north central Idaho. Members of the Nez Perce, Palouse and Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribes originally inhabited the region until being homesteaded by settlers in the 1860’s. Known then as Hog Heaven, and later as Paradise Valley, Moscow began its existence as a local trade center for food, mining supplies, and equipment.

Moscow 1885

University of Idaho

The community of Moscow became the home of the University of Idaho in 1889. Since then, the city has flourished as a culturally rich and diversified community. This union has enabled Moscow to become a leading city in the State of Idaho with a population of approximately 24,500.

In 1892, the citizens of Moscow appointed William J. Blacker as the first Chief of Police. Known simply as "Special Police" and earning $4 a day, Blacker worked towards the goal of preserving the peace, protecting property and the enforcement of City and State laws.

As the years passed and decades turned into a century, the Moscow Police Department evolved into a community-oriented organization comprised of 35 commissioned police officers, eight civilian employees and many dedicated volunteers. The Department is now separated into three divisions which include Operations, Services, and Campus.

Old UI Admin Building 1895
New Police Car


The Operation Division includes Vehicle Patrol, Bike Patrol and the Reserve Officer Corps. The Services Division includes the operation of the Records Division, Code Enforcement, Investigations, Parking Enforcement and coordination with the regional communications center at Whitcom. The Campus Division provides law enforcement, community resources and educational services on the University of Idaho campus. The Detective/Narcotics Squad is also under the Campus Division.

The Moscow Police Department trains its officers for an immediate response to a variety of crisis situations. To do this, the department has developed Tactical Response, Crisis Negotiation and Crowd Control Teams.

In addition, the Moscow Police Department is proud of its fine community service programs. These programs include Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC), Citizens Police Academy, National Night Out, Lee Newbill Safety Fair, Crime Prevention, and a School Resource Officer.