Policing in the city where he and his wife have set up new residency was the most enticing factor in why Art Miller decided to seek the chief of police position in Peoria, Arizona.
Miller, who recently moved from his California home to the Arizona town while maintaining his chief of police job for the City of South Pasadena, talked about the key reason that drove him to go after the top cop job in Peoria.
He and his wife, Linda, recently purchased property in Peoria while he continued to work for the SPPD. Miller would head for the desert on weekends and be back behind the desk in South Pasadena, his “home away from home,” as he calls it, every Monday morning.
He’ll soon be enjoying a much shorter commute after being sworn in as Peoria’s chief of police September 4. His last official day working for the City of South Pasadena is August 18.
A heavy heart will be left in South Pasadena for a man who has won over the community and vice versa. Miller will be honored from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 16, at the War Memorial Building, 435 Fair Oaks Avenue, in the city. The community is invited. Light refreshments will be served.
“The last 5 1/2 years have gone so quickly and so many new programs are in place to serve the community,” explained Miller. “Our department in South Pasadena is small but we do big things. In the last five years we have gained local, state, national and international attention. We have been recognized for several notable investigations. Community policing is in full swing. Crime is down for the fifth year in a row. Other community programs are flourishing. Our department has outstanding support from citizens, the City Council, city manager and the Public Safety Commission.”
In addition, Miller said the SPPD has strong relationships with neighboring police agencies. “Our department staff is trained in so many facets of law enforcement that meet Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). Our staff also exceeds training requirements in nearly all areas.”
Admittedly, Miller said the decision to consider the Peoria position was a difficult one. “The thought never crossed my mind that I could or would leave South Pasadena,” explained the outgoing chief. “A few months ago the Chief of Peoria announced his retirement. After many discussions, Linda and I thought the timing was right and the scenario of policing in the city in which I lived was right. Peoria prides itself on having a small town feel to it. The city and police department have similar programs to South Pasadena in place. The selection process has been arduous. In the end, I understand why. The police department and city are running well. Like South Pasadena, there is strong support from the community, City Council, and city manager. Peoria offers me a challenge to make a difference in the city I live and the timing seems right.”
Miller is departing a city he believes is in a solid position to advance further. “Being the chief of police in South Pasadena has been at the top of my professional career,” he said. “I will forever be grateful to the men and women who serve in the police department. I will always remember the South Pasadena citizens who welcomed me and continued to support me from my first day as chief.”