John Meza brings a wealth of experience to his new role with Tempe Union High School District as Interim Director of Student Affairs and District Safety.
Meza retired as Mesa Police Department’s Chief of Police in December 2016. He comes to TUHSD after more than three decades of service to the community of Mesa. He was a gang detective in his early years, conducting gang prevention, intervention, and enforcement projects. For more than eight years, Meza was an Assistant Chief, where he was assigned over the Executive Office and Operations Bureau.
As Chief of Police, Meza created the Community Engagement and Employee Wellness Bureau to focus on the importance of community trust and partnership as well as the interests and well-being of the department members. Chief Meza was instrumental in the development and implementation of various innovative programs, particularly the Compstat approach to data-driven policing. The Mesa model of Compstat quickly became a model for other police departments throughout the state of Arizona and has been a key aspect of reducing crime in Mesa. The City of Mesa is the seventh safest city in the nation and during Meza’s tenure experienced the lowest crime rate since the 1960’s.
“We have a long-standing commitment to safety in Tempe Union and the incredible expertise John Meza brings to the team will serve our students, staff and community well. We are thrilled to have him join us,” said TUHSD Associate Superintendent Dr. Kevin Mendivil.
“I am truly excited to be a part of the Tempe Union High School District family and to continue serving my community in the role as Interim Director of Student Affairs and District Safety. I look forward to building upon the already successful safety programs implemented at the district while focusing on innovative and progressive initiatives. I am committed to utilizing my over 30 years of public safety experience in creating a safe and secure environment for all students, staff and community members within the school district and look forward to this great opportunity,” said Meza.
Meza has been involved in various service and diversity programs such as Chairperson for the Mesa Police Department Hispanic Community Forum and Liaison to the Mesa Police Department’s Community Engagement and Diversity Team. He will also proudly serve as the 2017 Grand Marshal for the Mesa Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade this month. Meza is currently the Board President for Community Bridges Incorporated – a non-profit organization which provides medically integrated behavioral health programs. He is also a board member of the Marc Community Resources Center.
Meza also served as Acting Director for Housing and Development and as an Assistant to the City Manager, overseeing various City of Mesa services including the Arts & Culture Division, Library Services, Fleet Services, and Housing and Community Development Services.
The Arizona native received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in Human Relations/Counseling from Northern Arizona University.