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In the State of Idaho, all Police Officers must complete or challenge the POST Basic Patrol Officer Certification course within a year of being hired with a law enforcement agency. In 2019, the Meridian Police Department and Nampa Police Department collaborated to conduct the first Meridian-Nampa Joint Patrol Academy at the Public Safety Training Center in Meridian. Conducting a Joint Patrol Academy allows both agencies to structure the training cycle to align with both departments' cultures and policies, while also ensuring new officers learn the necessary skills and knowledge it takes to become a certified Police Officer in the State of Idaho. 

At the Meridian Police Department, all new officers - both entry level and lateral - are required to attend the Joint Patrol Academy. Entry level officers will attend the full 17-week academy, whereas lateral officers may attend the modified 10-week academy (depending on previous training and experience). 

The Meridian-Nampa Joint Patrol Academy is conducted with a focus on education, and is not conducted as a military style, stress-discipline academy. During the academy, new officers will spend time in the classroom learning about criminal law and department policy, receive firearms and Less than Lethal weapons system training, learn Defensive Tactics skills, participate in physical training, and be evaluated on their application of learned material through written examinations and practical scenarios.


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Justin Dance

Sergeant Dance joined the Meridian Police Department in 2011 after 6 years with the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office.  He worked as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer and Patrol Corporal.  In 2017, Sergeant Dance was promoted to Sergeant where he served as a Patrol Sergeant, Traffic Sergeant and K9 Sergeant.  Additionally, he is part of the Building Search/Active Shooter and Defensive Tactics cadre where he enjoys teaching.  Currently, Sergeant Dance serves as the Training Coordinator for the Meridian Police Department.

Kevin Kinnaman

Corporal Kinnaman joined the Meridian Police Department in 2011 after 3 years with the El Paso Police Department. He worked as a Patrol Officer, Swat member and Impact team Detective. In 2021 Corporal Kinnaman was promoted and worked as a Corporal for the Impact team, Patrol and the Training Division. Corporal Kinnaman is an academy coordinator and instructs Firearm and Less Lethal courses in the academy and in service training.

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Training Officer
Justin Northway

In 2007, Officer Northway joined the Meridian Police Department. For the first ten years of his law enforcement career, he worked as a Patrol Officer and Field Training Officer. As a Field Training Officer, he enjoyed teaching and instructing new police officers. In 2017, Officer Northway became a Detective and served in the Criminal Investigations Division for approximately two years. In 2019, he had the privilege of being selected to become our department’s first Training Officer, where he currently works and assists with department wide training and instructing at the Meridian-Nampa Joint Police Academy.

Training Officer
Tavita Messenger

Officer Messenger joined the Meridian Police Department in 2016 with 2 years of prior law enforcement experience with the Twin Falls Police Department.  Officer Messenger worked as a Patrol Officer and was later selected to be a Field Training Officer and Meridian Police Department Instructor.  He has a passion and aptitude for raising up the next generation of officers which made for a seamless transition to the Meridian-Nampa Joint Patrol Academy as a Training Officer in September of 2021.  Officer Messenger also serves on the Recruiting Team searching for quality individuals with a desire to serve in the Meridian community.







MONDAY-FRIDAY:  7:00 AM - 5:00 PM




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