Scott Miller was sworn in Tuesday as the newest police chief of the Shippensburg Police Department, and looks forward to engaging with officers, residents and local leaders and officials to help reach positive goals for the community.
“Working with each of the officers individually and engaging more in the community are what I look forward to in this position,” he said. “I began my duties on Monday, and have had the opportunity to interact with some citizens since then, as well as some business owners, other community leaders such as fire and EMS, and also some school officials.”
He shared his short-term and long-term goals for the police department, as well as how he plans to reach the community as the new police chief.
“My short-term goals are to assess where we are right now,” said Miler. “We’ve had very good leadership under Chief Scott Wolfe, and I had the opportunity to work with him. That has already been beneficial with the logisticial differences between the organization I came from and the Shippensburg Police Department.”
Miller added, “The long-term goals, once we evaluate where we are now, are to continue to expand the education of the officers to continue to allow them to perform better through getting them maybe experience that they haven’t had in the past or through training opportunities, and just to consistently work with the community, elected officials, government officials, but also the residents and the students in the schools to get that youth engagement, community and business leader engagement, and also social organization engagement, so that what the police department does is not unknown to the public, that they are familiar to what their police department does so they can engage their police department with questions and trust and have confidence in their police department.”
“Another long-range goal we have is to continue the recruitment of officers, both full-time and part-time,” he said. “Police departments across the commonwealth are struggling to get officers. It’s going to be a challenge we face in the future. The Shippensburg Police Department is pretty balanced as we have younger officers, some officers in the mid-range of experience and also some officers who may be looking to retire in the future. Being short-staffed as a police agency can be a real challenge. It’s important to have a significant number of officers so they can get some off-time and some rest.”
“One of the best ways to reach the community is from one-on-one interactions,” Miller noted. “That could be from stopping the patrol car while driving through a residential area, engaging people at a restaurant or if I’m filling the patrol car with gas. Also, more formal events. Mayor Coy and I have some events coming up on the 23rd and 24th of June to provide an opportunity for the public to come and meet us and provide questions. Mayor Coy will release more information on that. I’ll be attending council meetings. The public is also welcome to call in at the department with any questions. I think the public so far has a good trust in the department, we have a good core group of officers here and they’ve had good leadership under Chief Scott Wolfe. I hope to continue that and where opportunities present themselves, to enhance that.”
“I do hope to be a little more active on our website with information in a timely fashion,” Miller said. “I also want to look into our social media platform and look at opportunities to expand that.”
Another challenge officers face across the country is the increase in gun violence.
“Increased gun or physical violence is a challenge, and we’re seeing those increases,” he said. “I think a lot of it stems from mental health issues and it is a challenge we are going to face moving forward. Are there resources available for treatment for mental health challenges? That seems to be a situation where we have trouble finding resources for people, so that will be a challenge moving forward.”
From being a very young child, all Miller ever wanted to do was be a police officer.
“My father was a Pennsylvania State Trooper and he certainly was a positive role model for me,” said Miller. “I’m very fortunate to have a career in law enforcement for the past 30 years and to be provided this opportunity to continue my career. It is very nice to be back dealing one-on-one with community issues.”
He added, “I enjoy solving problems, whether that’s resolving conflict between people in a dispute, or solving a crime or even coming up with ways to reduce crime. All those are challenging and I enjoy trying to do that. I encourage any young adults who enjoy problem solving and trying to come up with better solutions to consider a career in law enforcement.”
In his spare time, Miller enjoys being outdoors as much as he can.
“I enjoy outdoor activities such as bicycling, fishing, hiking, hunting, being on the tractor, growing crops and things of that nature. I just really enjoy being outside.”
Miller expressed his gratitude to his family and officials of Shippensburg.
He said, “I really want to thank my family, my wife Kelly, my son, Jonathan, and my daughter, Erin, for the support in my transition from retiring from Pennsylvania State Police to starting my new job here at the Shippensburg Police Department. I also want to thank Mayor Kathy Coy and Shippensburg Borough Council President Bruce Hockersmith and borough council members for their confidence in me.”
Coy shared her thoughts on bringing Miller on as the new chief of the Shippensburg Police Department.
“I’m just so grateful that we have somebody with a great history with the police department,” she said. “He’ll bring a lot of experience and a fresh look at the way things are done at the department. The senior and junior officers all are pleased to be working with him and knowing him. Our goal with the department is to try to expand the force to make sure we have enough officers to cover the full shifts, and to have a complete complement of officers on the force.”