I was ashamed of telling people I was a cop in California - so I moved to this Republican state where I've never been happier, says police officer

Seth Horst left California and relocated his family to Coeur d'Alene, IdahoThe former cop said he couldn't believe the support for law enforcement He had previously held back on telling people his occupation

A former California Highway Patrol officer who retired to Idaho says he has never been happier after having previously avoided telling strangers what he did for work.

Seth Horst left the Golden State and his career in law enforcement to move his family to Coeur d'Alene in Idaho in 2020.

After starting up a real estate business covering North Idaho, Horst said he couldn't believe the amount of support for law enforcement he witnessed.

Horst told Fox News that the term police officer felt like a four letter word when he had lived and worked in the Democratic stronghold state.

While attending Independence Day Celebrations in Coeur d'Alene, he was blown away at the support for the local law enforcement.

Seth Horst, pictured here, left the Golden State and his career in law enforcement to move his family to Coeur d'Alene in Idaho in 2020

Seth Horst, pictured here, left the Golden State and his career in law enforcement to move his family to Coeur d'Alene in Idaho in 2020

While attending Independence Day Celebrations in Coeur d'Alene, he was blown away at the support for the local law enforcement, seen here

While attending Independence Day Celebrations in Coeur d'Alene, he was blown away at the support for the local law enforcement, seen here

Speaking to the outlet, Horst said that the Kottenai County Sheriff was part of the parade and waved to residents from a pickup with a revolver against his hip.

Cars, homes and businesses around the city also display the blue line flag year round in a show of solidarity with officers.

According to Horst, it is not uncommon for people to offer to buy coffee for police when they see them out in the streets.

He told the outlet: 'That is so powerful for the men and women in uniform up here to have that backing. It's a pretty phenomenal place to do the job.'

Horst and his wife Kristen moved out of the state due to them feeling like they were losing freedoms around medical help and what was being taught in schools.

He added: 'My wife was really pushing, like, ‘Hey, we need to get out of here because California does not feel safe anymore.

'We felt like we were losing a lot of our freedoms as far as medical freedom and the choice to where our kids went to school, what happened at school, things like that.'

According to Horst, the area has become a haven for retired officers like him seeking a better way of life.

In a post to his social media, Horst said that he was put on disability retirement from an on-duty injury that stopped him from wearing his duty belt and sitting for long periods.

Horst and his wife Kristen, seen here, moved out of the state due to them feeling like they were losing freedoms around medical help and what was being taught in schools

Horst and his wife Kristen, seen here, moved out of the state due to them feeling like they were losing freedoms around medical help and what was being taught in schools

In a post to his social media, Horst said that he was put on disability retirement from an on-duty injury

In a post to his social media, Horst said that he was put on disability retirement from an on-duty injury

Horst said that the Kottenai County Sheriff was part of the 4th of July parade and waved to residents from a pickup with a revolver against his hip, a picture from parade last year is seen here

Horst said that the Kottenai County Sheriff was part of the 4th of July parade and waved to residents from a pickup with a revolver against his hip, a picture from parade last year is seen here

He continued: 'Based on my own experience of how many people I meet that come from that background, it is the largest concentration of former first responders than anywhere in the US.

'In the 70's, LAPD officers started coming up after retirement. So I think that kind of put that on the map. That's just become a thing.

'There's a ton of officers from LAPD, San Diego County, Sheriff's Department that have found their way up here.

'There are definitely some that are unhappy where they are working right now, love the job, find that whatever state or city they are working for they can't do the job.

'The district attorney doesn't back them, there's too much liability, so the department won't let them enforce the law, which is their job. And that bugs a lot of people

'They get a job up here, oftentimes taking a huge pay cut because the pay here does not compare to a lot of other states.

'But it's worth it to them to raise their families in a place that is safe and has those old-school values.'

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EXCLUSIVE

Hundreds of cops flee California to Texas blaming Golden State's 'soft-on-crime' policies that made their jobs feel 'pointless' and put their lives at risk

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Idaho Fraternal Order of Police President Bryan Lovell told the outlet: 'They come to Idaho where they can enjoy their career and make a difference.

'They see that, in large part, our communities are supportive of law enforcement and public safety.'

Cities across the country suffered staffing shortages on the heels of widespread anti-police protests in 2020.

Lovell said that Idaho hasn't been immune to those recruiting challenges, they saw a rise in the number of out-of-state police applications around that time.

The number of out-of-state officers doubled from 2019 to 2021 and while applications have slowed down they still remain above pre-2020 levels.

As well as Idaho, officers in California are also fleeing to Texas to escape 'soft-on-crime' policies they say have made their job 'pointless'.

Rank-and-file officers up to department chiefs have hit out at state legislators, claiming a succession of 'anti-law enforcement' policies have made their work impossible.

Overworked and unsupported, they have instead taken up jobs in Texas and other states that are seen as tough on crime.

Evan Leona, 38, who ditched his job as a detective in a multi-agency gang unit in Fresno, California, to work for Denton Police in Texas, in 2022, said he had met 'more than a hundred officers' in the Dallas / Fort Worth area who had fled California.

The number of law enforcement officers in California has fallen by more than 5,000 since 2019

The number of law enforcement officers in California has fallen by more than 5,000 since 2019

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'There are five officers who have come from various agencies in California on my shift alone in Denton,' he told DailyMail.com. 'The justice system just works a lot better here.'

It comes as the Golden State is hemorrhaging thousands of police every year, with numbers down by more than 5,000 since 2019.

There are now fears that high-crime Californian cities are suffering a brain drain in law enforcement, leaving the public unprotected as criminals run riot.

Many in law enforcement blame controversial legislation including Proposition 47 and 57 for turning prisons into 'revolving doors' and putting their lives at risk.

Liberal politicians have staunchly defended their policies, arguing they have been misinterpreted and blamed unfairly for rising crime.

They say the aim of the reforms was to alleviate pressure on the state's overcrowded prisons and refocus policing efforts on more serious crimes.

Regardless, their efforts appear deeply unpopular among many who patrol the streets.

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