WOMEN ON THE TEAM
Historically law enforcement has been a male-dominated profession, but today that appears to be changing. With each hiring cycle, we are receiving more and more applications from women who are seeking a career in law enforcement. Want to know why? Just read some of the stories below to meet the Women of the Meridian Police Department and to hear why they chose this fast-pace and exhilarating career.
Hi there! My name is Danelle Kenny, and I have been working for the Meridian Police Department for three (3) years and have been a police officer for a total of six (6) years. Prior to working for the Meridian Police Department, I worked for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, where I worked in the jail and patrol for the Lakewood Station.
Prior to beginning my law enforcement career, I attended the University of California, Davis where I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and played water polo. I started my college career at UC Davis pursuing a degree in Animal Biology, with the intent of becoming a Veterinarian. Halfway through my schooling, I realized it was not the career path for me as Chemistry and I did not get along. At the time of making the degree change to Sociology, I was working a security type job and decided it was time to follow my true passion of becoming a police officer.
I have been involved with law enforcement for my whole life due to my father and uncles being police officers. I have always admired what they did for their careers and even went on many ride-alongs with them as a child. I know these experiences as a child made me want to become a police officer.
In January of 2014, I began my law enforcement career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and started the academy. The academy was hard, daunting, exhausting, and fun. I met some great human beings there, and I learned so much about myself and my passion for law enforcement. Upon graduating from the academy, I was assigned to the Inmate Reception Center (jail), where I quickly learned I wanted to be outside working with the citizens. I transitioned to patrol and was assigned to the Lakewood Sheriff Station, where I met a training officer who would change my life forever. She taught me, that as a female police officer, we do not have to be hard and mean to people simply due to our size or stature. This woman stands about 5 feet tall and is one of the most hard-working, dedicated, and amazing police officers I have ever met. I told myself after meeting her, I would be as good as a police officer as her. To this day, I still talk to her and she is still working hard and making a difference. I hope to continue to make a difference in people's lives like she does.
Now that I have been a police officer for a short six (6) years, any time I meet a brand-new officer I tell them to give it their all, have faith in themselves, and never give up - even on the really bad days. This job can be difficult, exhausting, scary - yes scary - and challenging; but most of all, it can be rewarding. Those rewarding moments and days are what I live for as an officer, and I take pride in being able to go home and say I definitely made a difference today. Every time I meet someone new, I try to make it a positive experience - even in the good, bad, or ugly situations. I hope when I leave they will remember Officer Kenny as a nice, respectful, and caring police officer who just wanted to make their day a little bit better. When I made the decision to come work for the Meridian Police Department, I not only chose it because they made me feel like a family member, but because they made me feel so welcome. At the Meridian Police Department, I have a feeling of family and security, as I know my partners have my back and my family can rely on them to get me home at the end of the night.
I hope whenever anyone meets a Meridian Police Officer, they realize we are human, we have hearts, and we always intend to do the right thing. The Meridian Police Department has given me the opportunity to grow as both a person and a police officer, and has made me better at both of these. I cannot wait to see how the Meridian Police Department will continue to evolve over the years.
My name is Karina Childers, and I have been working for the Meridian Police Department since December of 2018.
Becoming a police officer was not a career choice originally on my radar, as I initially began attending college to gain the necessary knowledge and skill set for a career in graphic design. One day, I had a moment where I realized I did not want to be sitting behind a desk all day and really wanted a career where I could make a difference in peoples' lives. So I decided to take an introduction to policing class and I was hooked! I felt, with all of my being, that pursuing a career in law enforcement is what I was meant to do.
As a new recruit, the hiring process can be daunting when you look at all of the appointments, tests, and training you have to go through. My advice to anyone thinking of starting this process is to take it one step at a time. Trust me when I say, that in the end, it is all worth it.
Being a police officer is such an honor. There is a multitude of trust the community puts into us to be the ones to protect them. This job comes with its challenges, however, that is part of the reason I love it. There is always more to learn and avenues to continue to grow as an officer and as a person in general.
While I occasionally find someone who has a lack of appreciation and understanding in all that we do, those moments are easily forgotten by all the good my partners and I are able to do in the community. As police officers, we help save lives, help people get out of a toxic situations, find satisfaction in providing all around help to our citizens, and always strive to provide guidance and protection to the community in times of need. I believe that all of these things help to not only make a positive impact on the community, but also shows our citizens that the Meridian Police Department is dedicated to protecting its citizens.
I went into this career with the mindset of gaining one positive out of every contact I have with someone. I want the community to know police officers are people too and my teammates with the Meridian Police Department want nothing more than what is best for the citizens of Meridian. We are not just robots who have been trained to only enforce the law without feelings. We feel. We hurt. We care.
COMMUNITY SERVICES OFFICER
I am Alexandra Coleman and I have worked for Meridian Police Department since August of 2019.
Growing up in the small town of St. Paul, Oregon, my mother has always been my inspiration for going into the criminal justice field - as she herself worked as a Corrections Officer. She always spoke highly of her experiences and loved going to work and being challenged by something new and different everyday. I knew I wanted a career in criminal justice because I wanted to help people and be a part of helping to keep my community safe. I attended Boise State University, where I graduated in 2019 with my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Psychology. I was thrilled to get a job right out of college with such a distinguished organization such as the Meridian Police Department, and officially started the Community Services Officer (CSO) Academy in October 2019.
A few months before graduation, I began to search for a job and I knew I wanted to work for the Meridian Police Department because of my positive interactions with their police officers during my internship at BSU. So from time to time, I would peruse the City of Meridian's website for new job postings, and that's when I stumbled upon the CSO position. I read about the general duties of a CSO, and I immediately knew it was the perfect fit for me. Unfortunately, the next CSO academy was scheduled to begin in April, but I was not going to graduate from college until May. I applied anyway, and the department put their faith in me and waited for me to complete my college education. This is something is just one example of how Meridian Police Department puts their employees first. The leaders of the Meridian Police Department are selfless and often go above and beyond for us, just so we have the means to be successful. They helped make my transition of going from a college student to joining the work force an enjoyable process, and there are no words that describe how thankful I am to work for a department that is as team driven as Meridian Police Department.
Following my graduation from the CSO academy in October, I was assigned to the Field Training Program. During field training, I was fortunate to have excellent Field Training Officers (FTO) who taught me what it truly means to serve our community. I really look up to and respect my FTO’s, because not only were they able to help support me during this transitional time, but they also helped to push me out of my comfort zone. I was impressed with their positive attitudes and the amount of patience they had with me, even when I was making mistakes. A few weeks later, I passed the Field Training Program and began to work as a solo CSO. Six months later, not only do I appreciate my fellow coworkers, but I also feel like it is a privilege to be serving this community. I believe a police department directly reflects the community it resides in, and it is nice to go out everyday and feel the support of the city.
Now given that I am only twenty-three (23) years old, I feel very fortunate to have a lot of time left with the Meridian Police Department to achieve the long-term goals that I have set for myself. This includes continuing my education within department policy, code enforcement, and law enforcement operations, obtaining certifications in specialized topics, and moving upward within the department. I know that with the support of my fellow colleagues I will achieve these goals, plus many more. I’ve always loved being a part of a team, and I take a lot of pride in being a part of a team that has a shared goal to keep our community safe. I feel so fortunate to get to work with the most hardworking and driven employees throughout the department. I look forward to what my future will holds with the Meridian Police Department, and the various other opportunities that are yet to come.
CODE ENFORCEMENT SUPERVISOR
I am Lacy Ooi, and I have worked for the Meridian Police Department since August of 2009.
As a young girl, I grew up recongizing Peace Officers as heroes. My uncle was a Deputy Sheriff who was killed in the line of duty. The stories I heard about him made me feel connected to those in law enforcement. As a young adult, I found myself at a crossroad after dealing with a traumatic experience. I decided I would not stay on a path as a victim, but would use my experience in a way that could benefit and serve others.
I attended a California Basic Peace Officer Academy in 2001. Following graduation, I found my first career opportunity working as Police Aide for the City of Sonoma. In July 2004, I become a Community Services Officer for the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, the same department in which my uncle served. I stayed with the Sheriff's Office until January 2009, when I moved to Idaho.
I wanted to continue my career in law enforcement and found the a position with the Meridian Police's Department as a Code Enforcement Officer. I was intrigued by the unique opportunity to work as a city official with a police department in a capacity that enhances citizen's environments to work, live, and play. I began working as a Code Enforcement Officer in August of 2009, and I enjoy working the community, city employees, and our Meridian Police Officers.
The City of Meridian strives to gives employees benefits that help create a work-life balance. We have a wellness program that allows us to earn a day off of work, and the city matches a percentage of our contribution into a retirement account. In the Fall of 2019, the Meridian Police Department recognized the need for a new position allowing advancement within the Code Enforcement Unit, and I was promoted to Lead Code Enforcement Officer. The Meridian Police Department has given me the opportunity to grow as a person and within my position. I plan to stay with the Meridian Police Department until I retire, as I don't feel there is a better place for me to spend my career.
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
My name is Stephany Galbreaith, and I was born and raised right here in Meridian, Idaho. After graduating from Meridian High School, I attended Boise State University where I completed my Associate of Art in Sociology, Associate of Science in Criminal Justice, and Bachelor of Science in Social Science. As my life's journey unfolded, I have been married for nine (9) years and am a mom of two (2) sons. Being a caregiver to my children will always be a top priority, but my passion for law enforcement has never faded and I am honored to serve the Meridian community as the Public Information Officer.
The Meridian Police Department provides a vast amount of opportunities to be involved in different programs and career advancements. I started as the Crime Prevention Specialist for five (5) years, where I submerged myself in the culture and values of the department. I am now the Public Information Officer, and am enjoying the opportunity to advance my skill set and career.
Being part of the Meridian Police Department is very rewarding. I am able to work full-time while setting realistic expectations so I can be there for my children. I enjoy knowing that I am making a difference, sharing our department's story with the media and the community. It's important that we continue to humanize the badge while being there for the citizens of Meridian. We are in this together, and everyone here is a part of the MPD family.
1401 EAST WATERTOWER STREET
MERIDIAN, IDAHO 83642
MONDAY-FRIDAY: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM