RENO, NV - Washoe County School District Police Chief has been without a job for about a week now. Superintendent Pedro Martinez fired the 20-year veteran, saying Mieras' experience was a hindrance to the department. Mieras has decided to come forward, under the condition we would not talk about his termination, but instead a reflection of his career.
“The difficulties a lot of these kids have, I mean they don't have a meal, they don't have clothes to wear, but they come to school every day,” says Mike Mieras, the former Washoe County School District Police Chief.
And as a 20-year veteran of the school district police force, Mieras says it was the kids, the administration and teachers who gave him motivation every work day.
Mieras says school safety was his number one priority.
Often times it was the kids themselves who helped make that happen.
“A lot of the tips come from kids walking down the hall. Going hey, you might want to go out back after school. Or hey, you might want to check out the bathroom at lunchtime there's some drug deals going on,” says Mieras.
Mieras says 8 years ago he and others got a wakeup call when a middle school student took a gun to Pine Middle School and let off a couple rounds in the hallway.
“The number one thing we learned from Pine, one, it can happen here. They did a great job, at Pine, don't get me wrong. But we found out holy smokes we need to do this in all of our schools,” says Mieras
That training would start with the department and make its way to the schools themselves, administrators, teachers and students.
It's training that would be invaluable last October when yet another middle school student would take a gun to campus, kill a teacher and wound two fellow classmates.
“What happened that day with what that staff did at that school and those students too, were truly remarkable. Because that is what they are trained to do, that's what we taught them to do in a crisis, do these things. They did it on their own without having to be told. And that is truly remarkable on their part,” says Mieras.
When Mieras first started on the force there were 24; when he left, he was supervising 38.