Great Seal of the State of Idaho



May 31, 2017

CONTACT: Jon Hanian
(208) 334-2100





(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced today that Colonel Ralph Powell is retiring effective July 2 after 34 years with the Idaho State Police. He will be succeeded as ISP director by Lieutenant Colonel Kedrick “Ked” Wills, who will be promoted to colonel in his new role.

“Colonel Powell’s career has been distinguished by success at every level of service and command and throughout ISP’s six operating districts. He is a consummate law enforcement professional who has set a high standard for his colleagues and the men and women under his command,” Governor Otter said. “In Ked Wills, the Idaho State Police is getting another energetic and engaged director whose leadership and commitment to the success of the agency’s public safety mission is second to none. I’m confident that he will continue ISP’s tradition of excellence.”

Powell began his ISP career in 1983 as a state trooper in Pocatello-based Region 5 and Boise-based Region 3. He was promoted to sergeant in 1987, captain over Coeur d’Alene-based Region 1 in 1993 and the Boise region in 1996, and major in command of Police Services and Forensic Services at the ISP’s Meridian headquarters in 1999. Powell was named ISP Area Operations Commander in 2010 and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and deputy director in 2012. Governor Otter appointed him ISP director with the rank of colonel in March 2013 after the retirement of Colonel Jerry Russell.

Colonel Powell earned an associate’s degree in criminal law from what then was Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho), and a bachelor’s degree in pre-law from Brigham Young University. He received a master’s of public administration degree in public policy from Boise State University, and did post-graduate work at the University of Idaho’s College of Law and at the FBI National Academy.

He and his wife Julie have five daughters and ten grandchildren.

“It has been my privilege to serve with all those that represent the Idaho State Police, in every capacity. They are true warriors of justice and represent the highest ideals of the law enforcement community,” Powell said. “I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve in Governor Otter’s Cabinet and work with the other agency directors. We have great leadership in this State.  Idaho remains the greatest State to live in and work because of its people. Thank you all for your support of ISP and our efforts to serve you.”

After brief stints as a patrol officer with the Glenns Ferry and Nampa police departments, Ked Wills became an Idaho State Police trooper based in Burley and patrolling the east side of south-central Idaho’s Region 4 in 1996. He was promoted to patrol sergeant in Lewiston-based Region 2 in 2002 and became headquarters lieutenant in 2004, responsible for the Executive Protection Unit and overseeing background investigations for the department. Wills was promoted to captain and commander of Region 4 in 2006 and to major in command of ISP’s Police Services in 2010. Colonel Powell elevated Wills to lieutenant colonel and ISP deputy director upon assuming command in 2013.

The son of retired ISP specialist Rich Wills of Glenns Ferry – a former seven-term member of the Idaho House of Representatives – Wills has an associate’s degree from the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in human resources development and training from Idaho State University. He also is a graduate of the Naval Post Graduate Homeland Security Executive Leaders Program and the FBI National Academy. In addition, Wills is a past member of the Kimberly City Council and was on the Jerome Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Wills and his wife Johanna have three daughters and a son.

“It is an honor to be asked by Governor Otter to follow Colonel Powell’s footsteps and lead the dedicated and professional men and women of one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the nation,” Wills said. “I will do my best to continue to uphold the high standards that have been set by those giants who went before us and whose shoulders all of us at ISP are standing on today.”


Return to Press Releases