“The Washoe County School District knows that students cannot learn and staff cannot teach if they don’t feel safe in their schools,” said Chief of School Police Mike Mieras. “For four decades, the Washoe County School District has put safety at the forefront and it continues today with the support of Dr. Heath Morrison and the board of trustees.”
The school police department was launched in 1971 with two staff members sworn as reserve deputies by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. At that time, there were about 30,000 students. A majority of the police calls involved truancy in the downtown area.
Today, the student population has grown to 63,000. Thirty-eight sworn officers work with staff, students and parents to keep 93 school campuses safe. Officers deal with such issues as bullying, substance abuse and gang violence.
Officers who took part in the ceremony paid for their badges with their own money. In recognizing their continuing service to the district, Mieras also recognized their constantly-changing roles in the lives of the people they are sworn to protect.
“The past 40 years have brought sweeping change to society and to our schools,” Mieras said. “We are proud to be part of such a proactive school district and a wonderful department.”