MILITARY & THE MPD
At the Meridian Police Department, we appreciate those who have served in the United States military. Many of our team members are former servicemen and women of the Armed Forces, and some still continue to serve in the Military Reserves. Read the stories below for the opportunity to meet some of our prior servicemen as they share their experience transitioning from the Military to a career in Law Enforcement.
LIEUTENANT ERIC STROLBERG
United States Coast Guard
I joined the United States Coast Guard and shipped out to Cape May, New Jersey for boot camp August of 1989. My father was a police officer and my goal was to follow in his footsteps. While my father served in the Navy, I felt that I could gain more law enforcement experience in the Coast Guard. I hoped to find my way to a small interdiction cutter as a gunner's mate.
As fate would have it, my first duty station was USCG Station Neah Bay,Washington. It was a small boat station with dual mission of law enforcement and rescue operations. I became a boarding team member and my law enforcement career began. After being promoted to petty officer 3rd class as a boatswainmate, it was time for transfer. I applied for transfer to Support Center Kodiak Alaska to the security police unit. About a month before my departure from Neah Bay, I was advised they were short-handed at the Support Center's fire department and I was reassigned. After gaining my Alaska level one firefighter certification and promoting to engineer/driver, my enlistment was coming to a close and I was now certain my career goal was to become a police officer. Sitting around waiting for a bell to ring and rolling fire hose over and over was not for me. I received my honorable discharge in 1993 and started Boise State University's criminal justice program that fall.
I attended Boise State University on the GI Bill and in July 1994 I was selected as a reserve police officer with the Meridian Police Department. I worked full-time at a local sporting goods store, attended classes, and volunteered sixty (60) hours a month working patrol shifts to complete my Field Training Program.
That time and dedication paid off when I was offered a full-time position with the Meridian Police Department in August of 1995. I completed my final two weeks of field training as a full-time officer and worked day shift patrol until Idaho POST academy session 108 started in October of 1995. I graduated Idaho POST academy on December 22nd, and started back to work as the new guy working swing shift on December 24th and 25th.
I promoted to sergeant in 2003 after spending twenty (20) years of my career in the Patrol Division. I transferred to the Community Services Division where I was responsible for supervising Animal Control, Code Enforcement, and Victim Witness which was an educational change. About two (2) years later, I rotated back to patrol for a short time before being transferred to detectives as the persons crimes sergeant in 2016. I do a lot more office work now, but the challenge of overseeing major investigations such as officer involved shootings, homicides, and child sexual abuse cases keeps me on my toes. There is never a boring day. In 2021 I was promoted to Lieutenant over the Criminal Investigations Division. After all these years on the job, I still haven't seen it all. One of the greatest motivators is to come to work each day knowing I will have the chance to help someone and it will be an adventure.
CORPORAL JON SALISBURY
United States Air Force
I began my law enforcement career in 2009 at the Meridian Police Department, after I separated from the U.S. Air Force. I was excited to begin another career in uniform, and to have the opportunity to remain in Idaho as we raised our daughter. I was commissioned as a patrol officer following my graduation from the POST academy in September, 2009.
After years of moving around as a military-brat, my family settled in Boise where my dad eventually retired from the Idaho Air National Guard. I followed in his footsteps and joined the U.S. Air Force after I graduated from Capital High School.
I served for eleven (11) years as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician. I had the opportunity to work all over the world during my enlistment, including Okinawa, Singapore, Vietnam, Iceland, and just about everywhere in the U.S. I was deployed to Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, and Qatar during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. I found the fast operational pace in Iraq to be exactly the reason why I joined. The transition to civilian life had its obstacles but, I quickly discovered the challenging and equally exciting profession of law enforcement.
I’ve had the opportunity to serve in serval positions at the Meridian Police Department, including, Patrol, the Ada Metro SWAT Team, and the FBI Metro Task Force. Serving as an explosive breacher for the SWAT team allows me to continue my work in the world of explosives. During my time on the FBI Task Force, I focused on informant operations, long-term investigations, and undercover operations support. The ability to work with different agencies from around the valley toward a common goal was incredible. I’m currently assigned as a Patrol Corporal following my recent promotion.
In my free time I enjoy writing, shooting, and taking vacations with my family. Several years ago, I rediscovered creative writing and recently had my first book published. I find writing a very cathartic and creative outlet for me. With such a busy work and family life, having a quiet hobby like writing helps to center me on those crazy days.
CORPORAL KEVIN KINNAMAN
United States Army
In 2008, after being involuntarily extended for an additional year of active duty service, I began separating from the United States Army. While attending the Army’s separation classes, I met with a recruiter from the El Paso Police Department. Having never thought about a career in law enforcement, I liked what I saw and decided to apply. It has been an amazing journey and the best career decision I have ever made. I was surprised to learn I could use my GI Bill benefits during the academy and field training portion of my first year on the job. The ability to use these benefits helped ease the transition for my family from military housing to the civilian world. After three (3) years with the EPPD, I decided it was time to return home to the Pacific Northwest.
While I had enjoyed my time with the El Paso Police Department, it was large and had what you could call a “big army” feel to it. So, when I decided to research departments, I knew I wanted to find a department that replicated the “family atmosphere” of the companies I had been deployed or sent overseas with during my active duty years. I found just what I was looking for with the Meridian Police Department. I already knew Meridian was a great place to live and raise a family, as I had family members living here. So, I decided to turn in my application and was hired in 2011.
During my law enforcement career, I have continued to serve my country through the Army Reserves. The Meridian Police Department has been great at working with my Reserve schedule, and the city makes up the difference on wages lost during your obligated service time. Although I would say that law enforcement isn’t anywhere near the “paramilitary organization” that the civilian population believes it to be, I have found the mindset and principles of leadership that I learned during my active duty time have served me well as a police officer.
DETECTIVE JASON BROWN
United States Marine Corps
I began my military experience in 1993. I joined the United States Marine Corps while I was still in high school. I departed for boot camp in June of 1993 to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. After finishing boot camp, I was stationed at with Fox Company Second Battalion in Twenty-Nine (29) Palms, California where I served as an Infantryman, Squad Leader, and Platoon Sergeant. While the training was hard, my fellow Marines were warriors and helped me to thrive in the environment. In 1997, I completed my active duty service and decided to transition to civilian life.
In the beginning, I found civilian life was simultaneously exciting and confusing. I knew that my ambitions were pointing me to Law Enforcement, so I began pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice in the Fall of 1997. While attending college, my life took an unexpected turn when I met my wife of twenty-three (23) years. A short time later, we started our own family and I took a job with the Union Pacific Railroad.
While I enjoyed many aspects of my career with the Union Pacific Railroad, it kept me away from my family as I was required to work in various places throughout the forty-eight (48) states. Throughout my nine (9) years with the company, I felt as if my heart was still pulling me towards a career in Law Enforcement.
In January 2006, I came to a point in my life where I understood that, if I was going to pursue a career in Law Enforcement, I needed to move quickly. After all, I wasn't getting any younger. In October 2006, I joined the Caldwell Police Department, where I attended the police academy and completed field training. While working for the Caldwell Police Department, I heard many great things about the Meridian Police Department, including the excellent administration, quality equipment, and great working environment.
I applied for the Meridian Police Department and accepted a position in August of 2009. During my career here, I have had numerous opportunities to advance, go to quality training, and laterally move within the department. I am proud to work with the Meridian Police Department because of the department's commitment to providing quality service, education, and the excellent partnership we enjoy with our community.
SERGEANT KEVIN WILSON
United States Navy