Meridian Police Department K9 History
In the 1970’s there were two working German shepherd patrol K9’s in the Meridian Police Department. We have been unable to find any information about these K9’s or their handlers. (If anyone has information about these K9’s or handlers please forward the information.)
In 1996, the Meridian police department adopted Penny, a two-year-old yellow lab female. She was assigned to Det. Mike Lock. Penny and Mike attended a narcotics K9 detection class instructed by then Police Chief, Gary Scheihing, of the Emmett police department. After 80 hours of training, Penny and Mike were the first drug detection K9 team in the history of the Meridian police department. Ada County was the law enforcement department to call when you needed a drug detection K9 Unit. Penny and Mike worked closely with the Bandit Task Force and with Idaho State Probation and Parole. Mike pioneered assisting Probation and Parole with searches on parolees. This partnership exists to this day.
In October of 1997 the Meridian Police Department hired Jeff Lavey. Jeff came to the Department with approximately four years of K9 handling experience. Then in January of 1998, the Meridian police department hired Gary Scheihing. Gary came from the Emmett Police Department. He brought with him, Mattie, a yellow lab female that was narcotics certified. He brought a one-year-old female malinois named Zena. In October 1998, Jeff and Gary attended a six week patrol K9 handler course at the Makor Training Facility in Napa, California. There, the Meridian Police Department purchased a two and a half-year-old malinois named Tiko. After returning from, Napa, both dogs were cross-trained to also work narcotics.
In June 1999, Tiko’s son, Dutch, was born. Dutch was assigned to Officer Jake Nichols. Jake did a great job of raising Dutch and in September of 2000, Dutch and Jake were certified in both patrol and narcotics. This made the third K9 team for the Meridian Police Department.
In 2004, Jake Nichols accepted a position with the Boise Police Department. Dutch was reassigned to Corporal Jeff Brown. Dutch and Jeff where quick learners and after 320 training hours, Dutch and Jeff were certified in patrol and narcotics. Besides being a great tracker and working K9, Dutch is part of Jeff’s family and loves doing family things and keeping an eye on Jeff’s daughter.
In 2004, Jeff Lavey was promoted to Lieutenant of the patrol division. This meant that he had to give up his old friend, Tiko. Tiko was reassigned to Corporal Berle Stokes. Berle had been hired in 2003. He came to Meridian from Probation and Parole, where he had been a K9 handler with his black lab narcotics K9, Jackie. Tiko and Berle finished their 320 hours of training and where certified in patrol and narcotics.
In June 2005, Blitz was born (another son of Tiko’s) and has been assigned to Officer Stokes. In January 2005, Tiko retired due to medical problems and will live out his retirement with Berle and his family, watching Blitz continue on in his footsteps. Due to Tiko’s retirement, Berle brought his old narcotics dog Jackie out of retirement to fill in until Blitz is ready to certify.