BONNERS FERRY — Boundary County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Cobler joined the Sheriff’s office just over a year ago. Cobler came on board having been a law enforcement officer previously in the Bay Area of California.
Cobler was originally inspired to join law enforcement when a friend of his in college went for a ride along with a police officer. After telling him about it, Cobler jumped at the opportunity to do the same.
“I went on one and I had a blast,” said Cobler. “So I went on a bunch more and really enjoyed it.”
His career was set in motion. He completed college and then pursued law enforcement, getting hired on by an agency that sponsored him, paying for him to attend the academy.
While Cobler was working in the Bay Area for a few years, he visited a friend in Bonners Ferry a couple of times, as well as driving through the area on road trips. He was impressed with the people and the beauty of the area.
“California is horrible,” Cobler said with a laugh.
He made the decision to relocate to Boundary County.
“The lifestyle here is the lifestyle that I like to lead,” said Cobler. “So when the opportunity presented itself to leave down there, I said let’s do it. I haven’t looked back, and haven’t been happier.”
Cobler described Boundary County as a super unique little place in America that is very isolated.
“I have never been to another town, or city, or place that is anything like this,” he said. “There are super warm, friendly people here. Whether you know them or not, everyone waves at you and smiles at you.”
While working as a sheriff’s deputy, Cobler said that friendly nature of the community shines through as well.
“Anytime that I am helping a stranded motorist, there is always 20 people who stop and want to lend a hand,” he said. “It is a great community to work for.”
Cobler has already made his mark here, not just in the day to day jobs as a deputy, but also as a certified instructor for the Idaho Parks and Recreation Responsible Riders education course, offered to those under age 16, and put on by the Boundary County Sheriff’s Office.
Cobler brought his love for motorcycles, both dirt bikes and street bikes, to the class, helping the students learn in a fun and positive way.
“I have always had classic street bikes,” said Cobler. “I am a huge fan of the late 60s and 70s Japanese street bikes. I haven’t brought any with me up here, but I have owned several throughout my life, and I love finding old barn finds and restoring them.”
When not in uniform, Cobler enjoys the outdoor activities that Boundary County has to offer, like hiking and backpacking
“I like to shoot,” said Cobler. “I don’t do a ton of hunting … just not something that I ever got into. I like guns, like everybody up here.”
“I like to spend a lot of time out on the water, in a kayak or swimming, soaking up the sun in the summertime,” he continued. “In the wintertime snowshoeing and getting cold. If you ask any north Idahoan what they like to do, it is probably what I like to do too.”
On the job, Cobler considers himself a pretty laid back guy.
“I am non-judgemental,” he explained. “I don’t take people for who they are or what they have done — I take them for what they are currently doing.”
Cobler feels that he is good at identifying with people from all different types and walks of life, feeling that aid him in empathizing with them and finding the best course of action to help them in their individual situations.
“I am very good at talking with people and hearing their story, whether it is good or bad, identifying with them, and hopefully getting them some help.”
Cobler stressed his desire to help people, even if they don’t necessarily want it — sometimes they need it — even if that means a jail cell.
Boundary County Sheriff Dave Kramer is grateful for what Cobler has brought to the team.
“He brought experience with him and is a great fit for our area,” said Kramer. “He is an outdoor person that enjoys the beauty of Boundary County. I really appreciate his team attitude, always willing to jump in and help.”