Meeting Minutes
December 27, 2017


  • Chad Bell
  • Tom Dale
  • Tammy de Weerd
  • John Evans
  • Nathan Leigh
  • Stan Ridgeway
  • Joe Stear

Staff and Guests

  • Steve Exceen – Ride for 22
  • Debbie Knehr– Ride for 22
  • Chief Lavey – City of Meridian Police Dept.
  • Bill Larsen – TVP

Open Discussion

Speeding & Distracted Driving

Tammy said John, Stan, her and others had a meeting with ACHD regarding speeding in neighborhoods. ACHD would like them and the chiefs association to consider two different things. One is camera red light enforcement, which would take a legislative change to be legal in Idaho. John has directed his Chief to bring these issues to AIC.

The other is to focus on the distracted driving part of this issue. The texting and driving legislation in previous years did not go far enough. We have to get cell phones out of people’s hands. Tammy said Chief Bones is going to take this to the Chief’s Association and she was going to take this to the Association of Idaho Cities and run it up the flag pole, there as well.

Chief Lavey indicated several years ago the Chief’s Association hired a lobbyist that has a great relationship with legislators. Mark Estes has now been recently hired as their Executive Director.

He felt they need to form a few ideas that he can use to educate folks like the Governor and Leadership and identify where barriers are. He said this is something they are not going to be able to get past the legislature this year. There is different philosophical thought processes on the camera portion. On distracted driving, he felt it is going to take a lot of education for our rural legislators.

With regard to speeding in neighborhoods, there was a discussion around the number of calls police departments and ACHD were receiving. Costs of retrofitting roads with speed bumps, enforcement practices by police departments, and other possible solutions were discussed with ACHD.

John said he has been putting this problem, speeding in neighborhoods, on the HOA’s. They have had some pretty good success, especially with kids when neighbors get a license number and/or description of the car to the HOA. As a result, mom and dad find out about their tearing down the street.

Tammy asked what John has suggested HOA’s do. There is a need to identify the vehicle and time of day and put it on the HOA’s Facebook page or other social media associated with the HOA.

Tom said he encouraged people to put in traffic slowing infrastructure in the original design to help keep people slowed down. Pinch points and narrowing roads are just a few of the things you can do.

Meridian Public Safety Center

Tammy said they have been in this facility for 1 ½ years. It is a real positive collaboration between their police and fire departments. In phase two of the facility, they will be putting in a lighted intersection in at the facility and reenact crashes and train on similar situations. Phase three will be a scenario village and hope they can get their business community involved with putting up fake store fronts etc. for tactical training.

Chief Lavey said the facility has an auditorium which is a tiered classroom that holds about 75 people. The room we were in and the one next door can be opened up and can hold up to 105 people. Each room has a projector system. Additionally, they have a simulation room where they have computer stations set up so you can actually show the scene going on. So for the fire department you have different roles for the truck, driver, captain and engineer. They can sit at the screen that will have the role for what their specific responsibilities are. This is a good training tool for them.

In the back they also have a fenced in area for their canines.

Chief Lavey said this Meridian Public Safety Center project started about 12 years ago. They broke ground just a couple years ago. Several things delayed kicking the project off. One was, the recession hit and the second was a desire to do a good job of funding the facility. He indicated there is no debt for this facility. Also, the scope of the project morphed over time increased. When it was first conceived, it was going to be a shooting range and morphed into a shooting range/training facility.

They finally decided that there was a greater need for a training facility instead of a shooting range. They built this building in cooperation with the fire department. Next door they hold their fire academy. They are able to now bring a lot of training in instead of having their personnel travel out for the training.

Chief Lavey said the second phase of their facility is the scenario village. In law enforcement, the trend has been to have some classroom training, but the expectation is for scenario based training. He added they have an RFQ that has sent out for the design of this scenario village.

In regard to their need for a shooting range, they have entered into a public/private partnership with a brand-new private indoor shooting range that has just been built. They pay a yearly membership fee for each officer. The benefit is they can host any of their training at the facility at no extra cost. In addition, the owner has essentially turned over the keys to them and they can use it after business hours as well.

Update on AmeriCorps Vista Project

Bill said at this point, there are several different organizations that have said they will participate in the effort. Currently there are seven different organizations. However, Bill felt strongly there will be numerous other organizations that will want to be involved. He said he has reached out to the hospitals and is scheduled to speak at several different organizations’ meetings in the coming months.

He indicated his goal is to hold a meeting end of January, early February. During that meeting we will hopefully identify tasks that could be done and begin the process of developing job descriptions for the Vista volunteers. He indicated there have been numerous ideas that have surfaced from his conversations. A person to develop public service announcements and fliers was one idea. Another idea was to create lists of treatment facilities and resources was another.

TVP Tax Return

Bill said he had completed preparation of the previous year’s finances for the tax accountant. Brad has had a chance to look them over and Bill said they will be turned in the next day.

Public Lands Issue

Bill said he had a discussion with Martin Balben, the individual with the Outdoor Business Council who had sent the TVP members the letter on public lands access. Martin indicated that when they sent the letter to Mayors and Commissioners The Outdoor Business Council was in the middle of a project which has since been completed. Martin indicated that in the future he wanted to have himself and several of their Board Members meet with Bill or the Partnership to identify an activity for the Partnership around this issue.

Ride for 22

Tammy said she met Steve Exceen recently and he is very passionate about the suicide rate for veterans. He is slowly making headway and has a vision of raising the profile of the issue of veteran suicide. She invited Steve to come and talk about what Ride for 22 and solicit member involvement.

Steve thanked the Partnership for their time. The Ride for 22’s mission is to serve as a living memorial to our fallen, increase public knowledge and awareness of PTS, share helpful resources, and provide support and comfort to the grieving families left behind.

He wrote a proclamation to name April as Veteran Suicide Awareness Month. September is Suicide Awareness Month, however, he wanted to pull Veteran’s out on their own because nation-wide, veterans account for 7% of the population, but 22.2% of the suicides in the united States. In addition, 20 plus veteran’s and approximately one active service member die each day from suicide.

He wants to raise public awareness to help the families that have been affected by suicide. Also, the increased public awareness could also help reduce the suicide rate among veterans.

Their annual “Ride” kicks off from Harley Davidson in Meridian in April. Also, there is an additional POW-MIA Ride in April.

Their “Ride” in April is to honor veteran’s that have died by suicide. They take their picture and wear it on their bikes to raise awareness and help families that have been affected. This year’s event will be on the third Saturday in April. This year, their objective is prevention. A portion of their money will go to Genesis Service Dogs because veterans don’t get any funding for service dogs. Also money will go to families that have been affected by veteran suicide.

This last three years they have raised funds to help a family. Typically, the recipient is a child and the money is to help with college and other future expenses.

They want to send some folks to TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program Service). This is a program that helps with survivor guilt and provides a life line for those who have been affected by suicide by bringing survivors together to learn from one another. This is the biggest survivor organization in the United States, and they just got sponsored by the NFL.

Tammy said this is something we find in schools as well. This topic needs to be talked about. When our service members get out of service, there is not much for them in the way of transition. Joe agreed there needs to be some transition back into society. When his son got back from Iraq he had gone through some things, and there was no one in particular he could talk to about those experiences. Joe said it was really a year and a half before his son felt comfortable again.

Joe asked the significance of 22. Steve said when they started this Ride in 2015, the average daily suicide rate among veterans was 22. Steve said it is hard to acquire the actual statistic, but right now it is believed there are 20 plus veteran suicides a day.

Joe asked if they wanted some of the Partnership members to attend the opening of the Ride. Steve said that would be great, but he would also like to have a separate event maybe at Meridian City Hall. They will be looking for some guest speakers to come out to their event on April 21st. If he had a choice, he would like to announce the proclamation on April 7th as it would help kick off all the rides that happen in April. That is a Saturday. If that doesn’t work for people, they would like to do it during the week prior to Saturday the 7th.

Steve said this last year they have over 400 riders and anticipates this year they will have more than 600 riders during the Ride for 22 event.

The Ride starts from High Desert Harley Davidson in Meridian and then goes to the Idaho Center in Nampa. From there they go to Melba and on to Kuna and then back to Harley Davidson.

Tom said he would challenge the group to change the paradigm. He is a motorcycle rider and has been on a couple of rides. The ride he was on stopped at bars and said he would not do a ride again because he has too many friends whom have died from drinking and driving a motorcycle. Steve agreed. There is not one drive he has been on that didn’t stop at a bar, and he would take that into consideration

The Ride kicks off at 11:30 on April 21st. At 11:00 they will have colors, a national anthem and a few speakers.

Meeting Adjourned