Jeff Lavey

Meridian Police Chief Jeff Lavey

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MERIDIAN — The chief of the Meridian Police Department has chosen to move on from his position as chief, and the department’s deputy chief will fill his role in the interim.

Meridian Police Chief Jeff Lavey announced Friday he has accepted a position as the executive director of the Idaho Sheriffs Association, according to a news release from the Meridian Police Department. Lavey’s first day in the new role will be Jan. 3.

In the interim, Meridian Deputy Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea will serve as chief of the department, according to the release. Basterrechea has served as the deputy police chief since 2009. He currently oversees all department operations and fills in as police chief when Basterrechea is unavailable.

Lavey has worked for the department for 24 years, and has served as police chief for 14 years.

“While it’s always difficult to say goodbye, I look forward to serving the community in a new way at the Sheriffs Association,” Lavey’s written statement reads. “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. 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.”

The city of Meridian also has an interim fire chief. Mark Niemeyer, Meridian’s fire chief for more than a decade, last month accepted a job as Boise’s fire chief. At the start of the pandemic, Niemeyer was named Meridian’s emergency operations manager to coordinate COVID-19 response and resources. Charlie Butterfield, Meridian Fire’s deputy chief of operations, is serving as interim fire chief.

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