Mike Bires is the designer and developer of the Shields & Stripes website.
Mike is a combat veteran who served in the United States Army prior to becoming a law enforcement officer in Southern California. During his 26 year career, Mike found his passion and skills he excelled at was public relations, community policing, social media, and website development. He was one of the pioneers of law enforcement officers who used social media to connect closer with the community, both on a personal and department level.
Mike has spoken at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention and in Washington DC to local, state, and federal agencies, on law enforcement’s professional and effective use of social media. He was quoted in a Times Magazine Article, “How Trolls are Ruining the Internet” due to his expertise in online harassment and bullying, was included in the book “Shame Nation” authored by Sue Scheff and forwarded by Monica Lewinsky, and was a contributing author to the book, “The Ultimate Guide to Social Media” by Mitch Jackson.
Having designed and developed over 75 websites since 2004, Mike is recognized as a “unicorn” in both the web development and law enforcement communities; it is an anomaly to find a police officer who is a master website builder, social media tactician, and a public relations expert. Mike started a company which taught social media to law enforcement and public safety agencies, which is today TOC Public Relations.
In 2016, Mike was the first officer on scene of an active shooter incident which made national news due to it happening on election day in which President Trump was a candidate. Mike, along with several other officers, became pinned down by the shooter, who was subsequently killed in the stand off.
After leaving the police department, he sold his business to his business partner when he took on a new position as the Public Affairs Officer for the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office in California. With being the largest county in the United States, Mike was in charge of promoting the office’ positive works to a multitude of people with different races, beliefs, and agendas. Shortly after starting this new job, the killing of George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic took center stage in America’s news and media outlets. Mike navigated these highly charged, and somewhat political events, which led to stronger bonds with the communities served by the District Attorney’s Office.
After 18 months at the DA’s Office, he had a candid conversation with his wife about leaving the District Attorney’s Office. He recognized that it was not healthy, both physically and mentally, to continue working in a field that is saturated with death, destruction, evilness, and hatred. With her support, he resigned and began his retirement. He looks back on the decision as one of the best ones he has made in life.
After making his home “dress-right-dress” and quite frankly becoming bored and driving everyone at home “up the wall,” Mike received a call from his business partner to return to the company he had founded, as the Director of Operations. Today, he oversees the web design and development team, and provides consultation to the owner of the company on various topics.
Having been exposed to so many catastrophic events throughout his public service, he has suffered anguish and emotional wounds. This is what led him to Shields & Stripes, and into the role he provides the organization today. He stands by a value which was instilled upon him at an early age; never leave someone’s side in their darkest hours. Through Mike’s work, he is determined to catapult Shields & Stripes to the forefront of organizations who care for the men and women who have taken the most solemn and highest vow possible; to protect and defend.