Meridian’s longtime chief of police will step down soon, and a familiar face will temporarily take the reins.
The city of Meridian announced in a news release Monday that Chief Jeff Lavey will leave the department on Jan. 3. Lavey has been with the Meridian Police Department for 24 years. He was named the interim chief of police in 2007 and six months later was awarded the job.
Lavey is leaving the department to take over as the executive director for the Boise-based Idaho Sheriffs Association.
“I have felt my path leading toward an opportunity like this one for a number of years and the time feels right to take this next step in my career,” Lavey said in the news release. “I leave Meridian Police Department with full confidence in the city and the men and women I leave behind to continue to serve and protect Meridian with both honor and respect.”
Meridian Mayor Robert Simison said in a statement that he enjoyed working with Lavey over the years and appreciated all he has done for the department. Simison worked in Meridian’s city government for over a decade prior to his election as mayor in 2019.
“His commitment to the community has always extended beyond the borders of Meridian and his experience will continue to serve our city, region and state,” Simison said in the news release. “I wish Chief Lavey nothing but the best with his new opportunity that allows him to achieve his personal goals and on behalf of the city of Meridian, thank him for his many years of service.”
Basterrechea, who is in the 25th year of his Meridian police career, has served as deputy chief of police since 2009. He will be in the interim chief position while the city goes through the search process for a new police chief. He said Lavey has been an integral part in Meridian’s public safety efforts.
“His leadership has cultivated an outstanding department, making Meridian one of the safest cities in the state to call home,” Basterrechea said of Lavey in the news release. “While he certainly leaves big shoes to fill, he has laid a strong foundation for us to continue to build upon. I am honored to serve as the interim chief upon his departure.”
Lavey will replace current Idaho Sheriffs Association executive director Vaugh Killeen, who is retiring in December, according to a news release from the ISA. Killeen has been the association’s executive director for the past 12 years.https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/article247836525.html