by Mayor Simison

Last week I announced my intent to appoint Tracy Basterrechea as Chief of Police, filling a role made vacant with the recent retirement of long-time Chief, Jeff Lavey. City Council will consider Tracy’s appointment tomorrow, January 26th during our City Council meeting and if approved, he will be the Chief for the Meridian Police Department.

Last December, I had the opportunity to hear from several mayors from around the country as I was preparing to take the oath of office. The one item I heard over and over was the importance of the Police Chief and the need to have complete confidence in the person who leads the Police Department. How law enforcement officers serve in the community every day is determined by the leadership of their Chief and it reflects on the community as a whole. I can say that Tracy Basterrechea has my complete confidence to serve as our City’s top law enforcement officer and I am honored he is willing to accept this new challenge. 

Tracy has served with the Meridian Police department for the last 24 years. He has risen through the ranks from a patrol officer and grown with the Department spending the last 12 years as our Deputy Chief.  This experience has given him an invaluable inside look into the daily operations of the organization from the ground up.  

I have spent the last month meeting regularly with Tracy, and in my conversations we talked about the vision he has for the department, our community, our families and so much more. Every conversation and step along the way I have become more impressed by him as a person, his leadership style and philosophy, and his dedication to our community.  His approach to policing, I believe, exceeds the standards our residents, businesses, and visitors expect and deserve striking a balance that we can appreciate. 

Serving as a police officer in America today brings on challenges that most of us will never know or understand. It takes a special person to do this work and lead the men and women in our Police Department. Earlier this month Tracy gave a presentation to City Council which outlined the policies, practices and culture in the Meridian Police Department. You can watch his presentation HERE to learn more.  As you get to know him, what I hope you will see is Tracy’s love for his job and commitment to public safety. He has been vocal about injustices and has helped to hold Meridian officers to the highest standard . Tracy believes the Meridian Police Department is there to serve all members of the community with dignity and respect which goes a long way in today’s world where those concepts can be lost. Tracy is an exemplary example of someone that has dedicated their life to protecting and serving, and I am excited to see his vision unfold as he takes the next step in his career with us here at the City.  

In his time with MPD, I know many community members, business owners, and local leaders have had the opportunity to get to know Tracy on both a professional and personal level. We look forward to giving even more of our residents that opportunity and the chance to learn more about his vision for the Meridian Police Department. 

The community is invited to join us in our quarterly Town Hall Meeting which will be held virtually on Thursday, January 28th and will focus on the future of Meridian Police Department under Interim Chief Basterrechea’s new leadership. We will use this opportunity to introduce himself to the community, present his vision for the department and speak to his priorities for public safety in Meridian. The event will begin at 6:00pm and will be hosted on Zoom, allowing participants to tune in from the comfort of their home or office. 

To learn more, or sign up for an event reminder, CLICK HERE

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