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State of 208: Meridian Police Dept. keeping up with growth

Posted: 2:20 PM, Jul 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-23 00:17:41Z

Meridian has grown up.

The once quiet farming community outside of Boise has seen its population rise above 100,000 people.

 

Perhaps no one has felt the growing pains more than the men and women "in blue."

Imagine being a rookie cop on the beat thirteen years ago, when Meridian's population was a healthy 52,000 people. Fast forward to today where the city has doubled in size. That is the reality for the Meridian police officers who say they are up for the challenge.

Corporal Randall Goodspeed has seen a lot of changes since he started in 2003. That's when they had just three people on a night shift. "My desire was to help people," said Goodspeed. "I really enjoy giving of myself and helping others with their problems. We need to grow with the city, and that's the challenge right now is trying to keep pace and catch up."

Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea says it is simple math that sometimes is hard to add up. "Whenever we annex any type of property, we still have to patrol that area. Whether there's one house or no house -- we still have to patrol that incorporated area."

Right now there are 115 officers on the force. They currently have three openings, and eight officers in training.

As long as they can find the right people to keep pace with the growth, they can deal with what could be their biggest headache, which Basterrechea says is, "Traffic, absolutely. It's traffic."