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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

CORPORAL 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. 

- Corporal Adnan Rudan

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 over 16 years, 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 two years now, and I am grateful to be able to work for the city where I live and grew up. 

– Officer Lloyd

OFFICER KIRK YORK
DJ York!