Canyon County's new sheriff-elect says while racist gangs and groups like the Hammerfest folks may be more visible than they have been in the past, they aren't necessarily growing in power or influence.
In this morning's Idaho Press-Tribune, Kieran Donahue, the Canyon County sheriff's deputy who was elected to take his department's top spot come January, said local racist groups have "always had a presence throughout the Treasure Valley" but "law enforcement always keeps a close watch."
“I don’t know that it’s grown any larger. I think we see a steady flow of those types of people,” Donahue told the Press-Tribune. “It’s something we keep an eye on, and when those cases come about, we certainly address them with due diligence.”
Donahue said his department laid "down some ground rules before the skinheads arrived" for September's Hammerfest, which took place on private property near Melba.
“We knew where it was at, we knew the location of it, and we had contact with the organizers,” Donahue told the Press-Tribune. “We handed down pretty solid parameters of what we expected of them and what they could expect from us if they were to get out of hand. They kept it private, kept it on an even keel, and we had no incidents to report.”