Merriam Police Adds Four to its Department

Published on May 30, 2023

A dark and light blue graphic with the headshots of four new police officers with Welcome to the Team on it.

Four new faces grace the Merriam Police Department. 

Dax Driskill, Dalton Peavler, Gerry Thomas, and Austin Zenitsky started working for Team Merriam in May. They all said they feel very welcomed into the police department and community.

Driskill is originally from Haysville. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and graduated from the Des Moines police academy in 2022. He served as a patrol officer in Des Moines before moving to the Kanas City area. 

“I enjoy being a protector of others and serving people in their greatest times of need,” Driskill said. “I appreciate the Merriam Police Department’s tight-knit community atmosphere.”

Peavler is from Shawnee and applied to the Merriam Police Department because it’s close to home, so he knows the area well. 

“I’m looking forward to helping the community and making a difference in people’s lives,” Peavler said. “Everyone has been extremely welcoming and making me feel at home with the department.”

When he’s not protecting and serving, Peavler’s a songwriter who previously worked at the Bluebird Café in Nashville.

Thomas graduated from the University of Central Missouri. He said he’s looking forward to working in the community.

“I find this department to be amazing,” Thomas said. “Everyone is eager to help me with my questions and show me how things are done. I also see this department cares for its officers in the best ways possible. I feel like I belong here.” 

Zenitski grew up in Overland Park and Grandview and graduated from Blue Valley North in 2018. He said he wanted to be a police officer in a small city.

“I wanted to be a police officer to be able to help serve and protect the community while making personal connections with people in the department and in the community,” Zenitiski said.

Merriam Police Chief Darren McLaughlin said his department welcomes these four new officers.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them complete their training over the next few months and become part of our wonderful Merriam community,” McLaughlin said. 

Driskill is a certified officer in the department’s police training officer program. Thomas and Zenitsky start the police academy in June, and Peavler will start the police academy in October.