Matthew Clifford

Matthew Clifford


I am a lifelong Idahoan and the current Ada County Sheriff. I have been with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office for almost 22 years and have worked in multiple bureaus within the agency and held the rank of Sergeant, Lieutenant and Chief of Police of Eagle. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for nearly 25 years and we have been together for over 30 years. We have one daughter that lives and works here in Ada County. We consider ourselves blessed to be a very close family, and we’re happy to adding a son-in-law to our family in July. In our spare time we do all of those things that Idahoans do. We camp, fish, explore and also travel to just about anywhere that will take us. We also volunteer our time with the Idaho Humane Society through their Foster Dog program. We take sick, injured, unsocialized dogs or puppies too young for adoption into our home until they are ready for adoption. We also have our own dogs in the form of two Great Dane-Mastiff mixes that we take with us wherever we go. Public service runs through my family. My parents are retired school teachers and my brother is a fireman. I moved from a small mining town in Northern Idaho to Boise in the mid-nineties. I brought with me a blue collar work ethic and a hunger to learn. I enrolled in Boise State University and earned a bachelors degree in biology. I worked for the Idaho Fish and Game for a few years in endangered species fishery, and then switched my focus to the people of our great state when I began working with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office in the jail in 2000. I quickly realized that working with people and making a difference in people’s lives came naturally to me and I had found my calling in life. Throughout my career I have been a trainer, K9 handler, first line supervisor and Chief of Police. I was able to realize a dream come true, and my highest calling, by finding myself as the Ada County Sheriff, running the largest agency in the State of Idaho. I have taken my oath to uphold the constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Idaho very seriously by serving the citizens of Ada County for almost half my life. The office of Ada County Sheriff is sacred to me, as I serve to protect those that cannot protect themselves, provide services and empathy to victims of crime and ensure that Ada County residents can live, work and play knowing they’ll be safe from crime and justice will be served to those that choose to prey upon our great community. I would love if you would choose me to continue to serve as your Ada County Sheriff.



An issue that is already knocking on the door of Ada County is the lack of space for inmates in the Ada County Jail, which is the largest jail in Idaho. While we work with the courts and prosecutors to identify those in our community that can be supervised both pre and post conviction, our jail population continues to grow and fill with more “hardened” individuals. While we do enjoy a low crime rate in Ada County, with growth comes more people, which means that small percentage of the population also grows. The Ada County Jail is already overcrowded and funding of a jail expansion is expensive. As the Sheriff I have been working on a process to get a bond put on the November 2022 ballet to ask the citizens of Ada County permission to fund a much needed expansion.


Another issue that I have been successfully tackling as the Sheriff is that of agency cooperation. I work within the criminal justice SYSTEM, and the system requires pieces and parts that work together in order to provide public safety to the citizens of Ada County. Over the last nine months, I have worked hard to build, maintain and in some cases mend relationships with police chiefs, Sheriff’s Offices, Idaho Department of Correction and Ada County Prosecutors, just to name a few. Through partnerships with public agencies I am able to coordinate and share resources, provide a wider range of services to victims and citizens, and ensure a high degree of public safety is provided for our citizens. If relationships are broken then my commitment to provide law enforcement and maintain our precious way of life here in Idaho becomes much much harder.


The issue of recruitment and retainment of law enforcement officers has became an issue for every agency within our valley over the last two years. The national narrative of defund the police, incidents that happen thousands of miles away and social media trolls have put a sour taste in the mouths of young people that are capable of doing the job. Very recently some police chiefs and I have come together to form a plan to better recruit young people from the military and our schools and help them realize law enforcement as the noble and respectable profession is it. The chiefs and I agree that when we come across people that are not yet ready for patrolling the streets we should be working as a team to introduce them to working in the jail and allow them to grow within the Sheriff’s Office, while holding no grudges or prejudice against them if they take their experience and training to choose to work at the Sheriff’s Office or leave for another agency. If we have the right people with great training working at any agency in the valley, then it’s a win for the community. I have also changed the Sheriff’s Office pay plan that allows lateral transfers to begin working at Ada County with an increased pay rate than in the past. Instead of starting at the middle of the pack, a deputy can now earn a higher wage in regards to his or previous years of service.


“I have read the Idaho Constitution and the Idaho Republican Party Platform. I support the Idaho Republican Platform and accept it as the standard by which my performance as a candidate and as an officeholder should be evaluated. I certify that I am not a candidate, officer, delegate or position holder in any party other than the Republican Party.”