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Mieras speaks publicly about removal as WCSD Police Chief

RENO, Nev. -- For the first time since his firing two weeks ago, former Washoe County School Police Chief Mike Mieras is speaking publicly.

Mieras met with Fox 11 on Tuesday to talk about his firing and his career. He is steering clear from bashing the school district in any way, or even questioning the reasons for his firing. But there are some things he wants people to know about the job he did.

One thing is clear, it is a job in which he took a great deal of pride every day.
Mieras said he is still figuring out where to go from here. He was fired late last month, as part of what Superintendent Pedro Martinez called a restructuring. Mieras said he did not see it coming.

"There was no warning," said Mieras. "We were just going about our business, planning for next year."

While Mieras is clearly disappointed in the decision, he said he looks back on what he accomplished in his 12 years as Chief with great pride. Among the highlights are securing nearly $1 million in federal grant money from the Department of Justice in 2003 to address school security issues, getting the Washoe County School District to become part of the Regional Gang Unit, and developing a strong canine program to help keep drugs and weapons out of schools.

All of it, Mieras said, was a labor of love. "This was my dream job. A job that when you're a kid, you say 'I'd do that even without getting paid for it.'"

Mieras also said he disagrees with the results of a recent audit, which indicated his department may have been too focused on day-to-day policing rather than long-term goals. "We were focused on long-term planning for school safety. To do that, you have to talk to the administrators, the staff."

While Mieras ponders what his next move will be, he said he still holds a glimmer of hope that perhaps the school board will step in and force Martinez to put Mieras back in the job he held for the last 12 years.

"If a decision is made in government, and it's not the best decision of the people, then they should, I would hope they would listen to those individuals," said Mieras. "I put a lot of trust and faith in them. They are good people and I would assume they would."

So far, the school board has been pretty quiet about Mieras' firing. As far as any public discussion at the next board meeting, Trustee Howard Rosenberg said he had no idea how things are going to play out.

There is also no word from the school district on who will replace Mieras.