BEYOND THE BADGE

Members of the Meridian Police Department are some of the most hard-working, dedicated, and selfless individuals you will ever meet. Each and every day we show up to work with one goal in mind - to protect and serve the citizens in our community. Because, at the Meridian Police Department, we CARE. After all, when we're not in uniform, we're citizens of our great community too. We are husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers. We're coaches, athletes, business owners, and martial artists. Whether we're running a business, coaching athletes, or turning our passions into secondary jobs, we are constantly striving to find the challenge that inspires us to be better servant leaders in our community.

CORPORAL THOMAS ERICKSON

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt & Gym Owner

My name is Thomas Erickson, and I was born in Williston, North Dakota. When I was two (2) years old, my family moved to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, which is where I spent the rest of my childhood. After graduating from Coeur d'Alene High School in 2002, I attended North Idaho College and earned my Associate's Degree. Following graduation, I moved to Boise, Idaho, where I enrolled in Boise State University. In 2007, I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Psychology.

 

In May 2009, I began my career in law enforcement with the Meridian Police Department. At times, a career in law enforcement can be stressful, and I believe one way to deal with some of the stress is to have a healthy hobby. My hobby is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 

As a kid, I was always active in sports. Following high school graduation, I discovered the opportunities to continue playing sports as an adult are limited. I started looking for ways to stay active, and decided to take a kickboxing class at North Idaho College (NIC). This class led me to begin training at Lotus Self Defense in Spokane, WA, where I competed in a couple amateur kickboxing fights. Following my graduation from NIC, I moved to Boise and no longer had a kickboxing gym to train at. So in May 2009, I decided to try my first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) class. After that first class, I was hooked and have continued to train since then. On June 22, 2018, I awarded my black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which was a big personal accomplishment. 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has changed my life, both personally and professionally. It has helped me to overcome my shyness, improved my patience, increased my confidence, improved my discipline, and most importantly, helps keep me and others safe at work. For me, the best part of Jiu Jitsu is the people I've met from all walks of life and the countless relationships I have made in the community and around the country. 

In March 2019, I was able to accomplish another goal when two friends and I opened up a local Brazilian Jiu Jitsu School, Spectre Jiu Jitsu. 

I believe my involvement in Spectre Jiu Jitsu allows people in the community to see me as more than just a police officer, and allows me to make a positive impression on people. I have met people that have had negative prior experiences with police officers, and I believe Jiu Jitsu has provided me with an opportunity to change those impressions through mutual interest. I really enjoy being a gym owner and instructor because I am able to share my passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with others, make connections with people in the community, and I get to see others reap the benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I am very thankful that I get the opportunity to both serve my community as a police officer, as well as share my passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with other people in the community. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. 

- Corporal Thomas Erickson

OFFICER ADNAN RUDAN

Bosnian Refugee

Kids love to call me Officer Rudy, but most know me as Officer Adnan Rudan. I was born in Trebinje, Yugoslavia, which is now known as Bosnia and Herzegovina. It's a small, beautiful country on the Balkan Peninsula in Europe. Until the age of five (5), I lived a carefree childhood, playing outdoors often. That quickly changed as the country entered a civil war and ethnic cleansing campaign.

Our lives were suddenly in grave danger and our only way to remain safe was to escape to an asylum friendly nation. After traveling through eight countries, we finally made it to a Denmark refugee camp, where we lived for two years. When I was eight (8), my family immigrated to Boise, Idaho.

Witnessing the determination, optimism, and gratitude that my parents had for this new beginning shaped many of my values. Living in a safe place, making an honest living to provide for your family, and being thankful for each day you get to spend with your loved ones are part of my core beliefs. My parents gave up everything to come to America and work tirelessly, so that my siblings and I could have a bright future. Not only are these values important to live by in my own life, but they're also an integral reason that I take pride in being a police officer; I know what it's like to live in uncertainty and to feel unsafe, which is why I strive to support and protect our citizens each day.

Growing up, I always admired my father's strength and desire to serve others, as a police officer in Bosnia himself. I wanted to continue this legacy by becoming an officer, as well. When I was sixteen (16), I joined the Ada County Sheriff's Office Explorer Program to experience the world of law enforcement first-hand. I quickly grew to the love the profession and being able to help others in their moment of need.

After graduating from Capital High School, I continued on to receive an Associate's Degree with studies in Law Enforcement from the College of Southern Idaho. I then began patrol at the age of nineteen (19) with the Rupert Police Department. In 2008, I joined the Meridian Police Department. Throughout the past twelve (12) years at MPD, I've had the opportunity to be a motorcycle officer, a Drug Recognition Expert, a Fitness Instructor, and a Training Officer for new hires. Our department takes pride in integrity and maintaining the same core values instilled in me; we value the diversity that everyone has to offer our community. 

My favorite hobbies include ATVing, hunting, camping, and fishing with my family. I also enjoy gaming, football, and soccer. Being physically active helps me do my job the best that I can. It trains me to have the speed, endurance, and quick thinking that are necessary to be successful in other areas of life, including work.

Good or bad, I believe that your experiences in life can make you stronger and shape you into a better person with a little optimism and a lot of grit. What happens to you, doesn't define you, but it can be used to make change - to make the world, or your community, a better place for all. And together, we can do so much more. 

I appreciate you for taking the time to understand what wearing this badge means to me. There is a story behind every badge; there are reasons, beliefs, and experiences that have shaped us all into who we are today. Thank you for taking a moment, not just to get to know me as an officer, but also to see me as a person who truly cares for you, your family, and our community. 

- Officer Adnan Rudan

OFFICER JACOB PELE

High School Football Coach

My name is Officer Jacob Pele, and I grew up in Auburn, Washington. I am often asked if I have any relation to the famous soccer player because of my last name, but I can’t say that I have ever even played soccer. Instead, I played American football. As a high school football athlete, I earned and accepted an athletic scholarship to play football at Idaho State University in Pocatello. While earning my bachelor’s degree from ISU, I played football at the collegiate level for five (5) years. After graduating college in 2014, I began my law enforcement career with the Pocatello Police Department. A few years later, my wife and I relocated to Meridian, and I happily accepted a job with the Meridian Police Department in 2017. I am very fortunate to work for a great department and serve a great community.

When I started my law enforcement career, I was told to make sure I found something outside of the job that reminded me of who I am. I instantly knew that “something” was football. Growing up as a football athlete, I learned a lot of important life lessons that allowed me to become who I am today. Along with my parents, football taught me the value of hard work, commitment, accountability, mindset, and discipline. All of which I have carried into my personal life and my career in law enforcement.  Although I knew I could no longer play the sport, I knew I needed to find a way I could still be involved. So, I decided I wanted to become a high school football coach.

My experience as a high school football coach has allowed me to connect with the youth in my community and has provided me with the opportunity to pass along some of the valuable life lessons football taught me. Shortly after relocating to Meridian, I accepted a position as the Defensive Line Coach for Rocky Mountain High School. For the last three seasons, I have assisted in helping cultivate a successful football program. In 2018, Rocky Mountain High School’s football team went undefeated and won the 5A State Championship. We have also achieved and maintained being the highest ranked defensive line for the last two seasons, which I am especially proud of. Our program is full of great coaches, parents, but most importantly, unbelievably hard-working kids.

The success and joy I have experienced as high school football coach goes beyond the wins and losses of the game. Coaching has allowed me to develop a relationship with my athletes, where I can support them both on and off the field. On a regular basis, I talk to my athletes about their daily struggles, provide them direction for obstacles they may be facing, and instill in them the values football taught me. Best of all, being a football coach provides me with a front row seat to watch my amazing athletes accomplish their goals.

I believe my involvement as a high school football coach goes beyond the badge and helps to break the barrier between the youth population and law enforcement.  My role as a coach allows the kids, and even their parents, to see a glimpse of what I have been through and what it means to be a police officer. Most importantly, my goal is to play an integral part in getting my athletes ready for their next step in life. In both my coaching and my law enforcement careers, I strive to demonstrate to my players that they can achieve anything by demanding excellence, keeping their standards high, and working hard both on and off the football field. Because, in the end, I want them to be the best they can be in whatever they do.  

I am so thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve my community as not only a police officer, but as a high school football coach. Thanks for reading about my journey, and a huge thank you to my administration at the Meridian Police Department for working with me to make this happen. Oh, and Go Rocky Football!

 

– Coach/Officer Pele

OFFICER GRACE LLOYD

Softball Coach, Player & Outdoor Enthusiast

My name is Grace Lloyd, I was born in Astoria, Oregon, and eventually moved to Gresham, Oregon. When I was eight (8) years old, my family moved to Meridian, Idaho. From a young age and for as long as I can remember, I've always played softball. While I attended Meridian Technical Charter High School, I played softball for Meridian High School as my school did not offer any sports programs. Following high school graduation, I was offered and accepted a scholarship to play at a junior college in Washington. After a year, I returned home to Meridian and completed my Associates of Arts Degree at the College of Western Idaho. From there, I went to Boise State University, where I graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice.

During my junior year of school, I went on my first ride-along with the Meridian Police Department. From there, I gained my initial interest in the career. While at CWI, I was lucky to have teachers who were retired law enforcement and active prosecutors in the Treasure Valley. Once I moved onto BSU, I found myself involved in the internship program through the School of Public Service. I first worked within the Bureau of Criminal Identification at the Idaho State Police. I then spent most of my senior year working for Boise Police's Special Victims' Unit. Through these internships, I was afforded the ability to see what the career entails first-hand and how much of an impact you can have on the individuals you interact with on a daily basis.

While going to school at BSU, interning at the Boise Police Department, and working a part-time job, I also coached a competitive travel fast-pitch softball team. When getting into law enforcement, I was given the advice to have hobbies outside of the job. Softball is that for me, whether I'm coaching or playing on local slow-pitch softball teams. One of my favorite things about working and living in Meridian is the quick access to outdoor activities and hiking trails. Whether that be in the foothills, up in Bogus Basin, or out at Swan Falls, the list goes on. Even though I have lived here for 16 years now, I still find new places every weekend that this city and state has to offer. I have been with the Meridian Police Department for just over a year now, and I am grateful to be able to work for the city where I live and grew up. 

– Officer Lloyd

COMMUNITY EVENTS

At the Meridian Police Department, we place an emphasis on community policing because we believe is vital to our success as a public safety agency. Community policing is a strategy that helps us to build trust and establish relationships with our local government, non-profit and other organizations, small businesses, and most importantly, our citizens. 

When not responding to calls for service, members of the Meridian Police Department can be found volunteering at various community events throughout the year. Explore the stories below to learn just some of the ways we give back to our community. 

SHOP WITH A COP

Every year, our officers volunteer to participate in the Ada County Sheriff's Employee Association Shop with a Sheriff event. This event is designed to unite local public safety employees with disadvantaged children for a special day of shopping. This event provides a unique opportunity for police officers and kids to interact and break down the barriers that often exist to build a better, more trusting relationship between law enforcement and children.

PUBLIC SAFETY ACADEMY

The Public Safety Academy is a ten (10) week course and is an educational experience like no other. After enrolling in the academy, citizens will learn the "ins and outs" of the Meridian Police Department and Meridian Fire Department. Topics include SWAT demonstrations, information on how detectives collect evidence, the opportunity to drive a patrol car, and so much more!

For the past three (3) years, the Consulate of Mexico and local law enforcement agencies have partnered to host an annual soccer tournament with the focus of connecting Treasure Valley's Hispanic community to domestic violence resources.

THE CONSULATE OF MEXICO SOCCER GAME

TREASURE VALLEY YOUTH SAFETY SUMMIT

Every year, the Meridian Mayor's Youth Advisory Council hosts the Treasure Valley's Youth Safety Summit at Wahooz Family Fun Zone. While it might look like all fun and games, the activities are actually focused on prevention. Each event is used as a tool to educate students on the potential consequences of their actions through various activities, like texting while driving a go-kart or attempting to play a round of mini-golf while wearing intoxicated vision goggles. In 2019, members of the School Resource Officer and Traffic teams interacted with more than two hundred (200) high school students from all over Idaho. 

SPARTAN

Every year, members from of the Meridian Police Department join together to tackle the over three (3) mile Spartan Sprint Obstacle Course race at Thomas Pence Ranch in Payette, Idaho. Described as one (1) of the more challenging sprint courses available, MPD team members must come together and support each other to successfully navigate this difficult course. The Spartan race is a fun and memorable team-building event that also serves as a friendly reminder on just how important physical fitness is for a career in law enforcement. 

CONTACT

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1401 EAST WATERTOWER STREET

MERIDIAN, IDAHO 83642

MONDAY-FRIDAY:  7:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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