Idaho's top policeman is stepping down in January. Col. Jerry Russell of the Idaho State Police will leave Jan. 18.
The announcement came Monday from Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter who says he regrets losing Russell, but says he leaves behind him a "strong bench."
Russell has a long history of law enforcement work in the region. He worked for more than a quarter-century for the Oregon State Police.
After that, he became the chief security officer for Idaho's Fourth Judicial District in 2001, before stints at the Idaho Military Division and Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security.
For six years, he's been director of the Idaho State Police. There, Russell's been trying to improve ties between the state and sheriffs in Idaho's 44 counties.
No announcement was made on a replacement.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press