Washoe School Police request officers at middle schools
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Sparks Middle School
After the shooting at Sparks Middle in October, District Police Chief Mike Mieras says staff and students asked for a dedicated officer on campus. The feedback since then has been positive enough that Mieras would like to expand that idea across the county.
"Just that presence," he says, "the relationships that have been built with the officer and the students, that's the major goal is that we would like to have that positive influence on each one of our campuses."
At Sparks, the officer is there in case a crisis situation arises, but the job extends beyond that. Meiras says the officer conducts conflict-resolution sessions with students to prevent issues before they escalate and encourages students, staff, and parents to report any disconcerting behavior they see or hear about.
"It's not so much just being a police officer on the campus," Mieras explains. "That's there; the purpose is there, but the officers on the campus, just like at our high schools, they're big brothers and big sisters. They're mentors. It's a very positive impact on the kid's life. It's building that rapport."
Under one of several proposed options, Mieras says bringing in the officers would cost about $800,000 and they would be equipped with mountain bikes, just like the officers at area high schools.
The District's newly-formed safety commission is also considering finishing the installation of camera systems within various schools.
In October, 12-year-old Jose Reyes opened fire at Sparks Middle, killing popular math teacher Michael Landsberry and injuring two other students before killing himself.