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Miller, Scott

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Mary S Taylor

Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 28069
Location: Fresno, CA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:44 am    Post subject: Miller, Scott Reply with quote

Pacific Grove Beacon, CA Sept. 26, 1997
Great Scott! P.G. Local takes P.G.P.D. reins
By Susan Goldbeck
On November 2, 1997, Scott Miller will step in as the new Police Chief of Pacific Grove. The current Chief, Jon Reither, is retiring after three years in the position. City Manager Mike Huse described Miller as “An outstanding person, who, I am confident, will be an exceptional chief.” Miller lives just a few blocks from the police station, went to elementary and middle P.G. schools and graduated from P.G. High School. Miller’s grandparents came to P.G. in the early thirties, and Miller has an extended family still living in town. He has “…deep roots in this community,” hea said. Miller indicates the he can trace his first interest in police work to Miss Cravello’s first grade calss here in Pacific Grove. “PGPD Officer Nodillo, ‘an old-time cop,’ came to speak to our calss in his green uniform. I still remember that talk and I still have the piece of chalk Officer Nodillo gave me.” After high school, Miller spent two years as a missionary in Peru. He then became active ein teaching English as a second language when he was encouraged by his brother, a sheriff in the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department to apply for a job in law enforcement. Miller learned to speak fluent Spanish in Peru, and a whole lote more. “There is nothing like living in a third world country to develop an appreciation for this country and this town.” Miller did apply and worked for the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department for four years where he was exposed to all aspects of police work, including narcotics, child abuse, and gang activity. He then moved back to P.G. and began raising a family. Miller is the father of four children; he recently married Jane Miller, who is a risk manager at the City of Salinas. After returning to this area, Miller joined the Salinas Police Department where he worked for the past seventeen years, leaving at the rank of Captain. When asked why he did not apply at P.G.P.D., he smiled and said that as a young officer, he wanted the experience of working on a force with more varied and active crime picture. “This, said Miller, “my experience eworking for the Salinas PD has provided.” Milelr indicated the he always considered himself a local candidate. “One reason I tossed my hat into the ring was I was concerned that Mike Huse would hire a candidate from out of the area. I have always considered myself a local candidate. I am intimately familiar with the concerns of Pacific Grove.” Miller said that at first he was somewhat daunted in his consideration of the position as P.G. Police Chief by the groundswell of support in the community for the Chief to be selected fromwithin the P.G. Police Department. Miller believes, however, that this type of support in the local community for is local police force is certainly a positive for a new chief coming in to the job. Does he believe he will face resentlment from the local police because he was chosen from outside? “Well, he said, “I expect some resentment for a few, but do not think it will be longstanding.: He as already received considerable expressions of support from the local force, including men he edged out for the Chief’s job. “And,” he said, “the fact that I sam so closely affiliated with P.G. having been raised here, I know many of the officers in the department already and have a good relationship with them.: A reliable source within the PGPD indicated that in a vote taken by the rank and file in the department, selection of a chief from outside of the department was overwhelming. “My philosophy is along military lines,” said Miller, “to the extend that I believe in taking care of the front line people before taking care of myself. I am the chief supporter of the rank and file police officers. I believe in supporting them when they are right and correct, then when they are wrong, and to make sure they get what they need to get the job done.” “I believe in the concept of principal centered leadership. At looking at yourself first, getting your compass fixed to true north, getting a sense of right and worng and go from there.” Miller indicated that he wanted to try to emphasize the positive he’s seen in good managers, and avoid the negative qualities he has also observed. “I remember my roots as a police officer. I was a street cop not so long ago. I feel a kinship with the beat cop, and I’ll never forget where I came from,: said Miller. Miller believes very strongly that the law should be enforced even handedly, everyone being treated the same. “I do not believe in selective enforcement. We are a community. I believe in looking at every incident as if it were a mother, brother or friend. I believe in giving a citizen the courtesy you would give a family member. And, I expect that everyone will be treated as family and the same. Miller indicated that he was impressed by the thoroughness of the screening process that was employed to select a chief. According to Miller, after an initial application screening process, the finalists underwent a 3 ˝ hour interview process. This consisted of a series of interviews. One was a three-person business panel, which addresses business-related concerns. One was a citizen’s panel which included a leader (Jim Willoughby) of the “…hire from within group.” The group amassed some 1400 signatures in favor of a local police deparment person for the chief’s position. There was an interview on administrative issues with two police chiefs, both from department sout of Monterey. Miller said the candidates were also interviews by P.G. City Manger Mike Huse, and P.G. City Attorney Geroge Thacher. The initial screening process included writing an essay of what the last hometown meant to the candidate. Miller indicated that he felt the process was thorough and fair. “I want to compliment Mike Huse for the wisdome of his approach. The input of local peole was key,: he said. Millers holds an Associate Degree in Administrative Justice, a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Behavior and a Masters Degree in management. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the commission as a peace officer, Standards and Training and Command college. One concern any police member has with a new chief coming from outside is,of course, the unknown, said Miller. There is concern that n outsider may not werk well with the local force, and that the new chief will dramatically change the way of doing business by the local police, a way the force is comfortable with. Miller indicated that as he sees it, he does not anticipate making any big changes in the P.G.P.D. “It is a well’run department and I was not given any indication that I was hired as a reformer.” Of course there will be some changes but that would be true even with a hried-from-within chief. Miller indicated that he feels his close ties with Pacific Grove will serve him well in this town. He really is not an outsider, either to the town, or to the department. “And, as far as the slower pace crime activity-wise in P.G., my job is to keep it that way,” Miller quipped. Jim Willoughby who spearheaded the drive to encourage the selection of a chief from the local police candidates indicated that while he was disappointed at the selection of a Chief outside of the P.G.P.D. he “…did believe Scott Miller was an excellent candidate.” “Let me start out by saying that I personally have no problem with Scott Miller. He came through (the interview) as a top law enforcement man. I, myself, put him at the top and I have no qualms that he will make an outstanding police chief. I can take pride in that statement because I participated in the selection process and helped put him as a top contender,” said Wiloughby. “The way I see it, and by the way of analogy, at the end of the process you had a number of fine candidates, one was a Ford, the other Chevrolet. “They are both good cars, priced within reason. “I believe that there were several candidates all equally qualified. It then became a matter of preference and I think that preference should have been exercised in favor of an officer who has served the PGPD and the community for a good many years.” Willoughby, in speaking of the candidate screening process expressed disappointment in the process because, in his view it did not consider loyalty, fairness and dedication to this community. Willoughby felt that, although the screening and hiring process was comprehensive, and he was on the citizen interview panel, the evaluation criteria, in his view, did not include contributions mady by the police to the community of P.G. “This,” he said, “should have been an important criteria.” “Not so,” said Mike Huse, “the fact that local Police Department candidates placed in the final rankings along with five police chiefs from other jurisdictions reflects the fact that the contributions of the officers from PGPD were heavily weighted.” Willougby indicated that the selection of Miller, a candidate outside the P.G.P.D. breaks a 65-year tradition of hiring from within the department. Willoughby indicates that he hopes Miller’s selection does not reflect an indication by Huse of a policy not to hire from within.
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