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Road Named for Miera

By Dan McKay
Journal Staff Writer
          John Dantis is out, and Dean Miera is in.
        Bernalillo County commissioners this week approved plans to rename the road leading to the Metropolitan Detention Center.
        It will now be known as "Deputy Dean Miera Drive" — honoring the 48-year-old deputy who died in the line of duty last year.
        County Commissioner Wayne Johnson proposed the change.
        "That seemed like the appropriate place for someone who's in law enforcement," Johnson said Wednesday. "Every one of these guys goes out there."
        Miera was also honored Wednesday during the annual New Mexico Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony at the state Law Enforcement Academy in Santa Fe.
        The County Commission had voted in 2002 to name the road after Dantis, who was the county's director of public safety at the time. Dantis retired last year after he was embroiled in a nepotism scandal involving the employment of his son. The elder Dantis maintained that his retirement had nothing to do with the controversy.
        Commission Chairwoman Maggie Hart Stebbins said the nepotism dispute had no role in her support of the name change.
        "I really felt that was an appropriate recognition for Dean Miera," she said. "It's not just inmates who travel on that road. It's law enforcement every day, and it's an appropriate tribute."
        Johnson said it's unwise to name things after county administrators.
        "That's a really bad precedent — to have sitting county officials having anything named after them," Johnson said. "I don't want to take credit away from folks who do good work, but that's more appropriate on a plaque or proclamation."
        Miera was killed in a traffic crash in late October. He was in an unmarked county vehicle on his way to serve an eviction notice when a semi-truck bounded into his lane. There was a head-on collision, and Miera died at the scene.
        He was a nine-year veteran of the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office. He went to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and had recently won an award for saving a woman from choking.
        Miera left behind his wife, three daughters and a son, plus five grandchildren.
        The county jail sits atop the far West Mesa. Its post office address will remain 5800 Shelly Road SW, the county said.

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