Chief Jim Miller to retire in September
up in Police Dept. leadership
In an apparent changing of the guard at the Yellow Springs Police Department,
Chief Jim Miller has been placed on paid administrative leave with plans
to officially retire in September after almost 10 years here.
Captain John Grote was named the interim police chief on Monday. Village
Manager Rob Hillard said that the Villages search for a new chief
would begin immediately.
Hillard announced the news at the beginning of Councils meeting
March 3. Council did not discuss the matter.
Miller was placed on paid leave on Tuesday and will officially resign
as chief on Sept. 3.
Placing Miller on paid leave gives the Village an extended transition
period and ample time to conduct a search for a new chief, Hillard
Grote said that he learned of Millers decision late Sunday. It
pretty much surprised everybody, he said of the department.
In a phone interview Tuesday morning, Miller said that different opinions
about management style between him and Hillard led Miller
to decide to retire. Though Miller initially said he was not up
to talking right now about his decision, he did agree to answer
a few questions.
I guess my style of management didnt necessarily fit with
the managers style of management and so it was probably time for
me to go, Miller said.
Later in the 15-minute interview, Miller said that he and Hillard had
different ideas, adding that retiring from the Yellow Springs police
force was the appropriate thing to do.
When asked about Millers comments, Hillard, in a separate interview
Tuesday, said that he wouldnt argue with Millers
assessment. Hillard would not elaborate on the situation or the differences
between the two, nor would he discuss whether there were other issues
of concern within the Police Department.
Hillard did say that a person usually evaluates his or her work environment
when considering retirement. I guess thats what Jim is doing
in making that decision, Hillard said.
Miller said that it was his decision to retire, noting that, now 30 years
into his career, he had been thinking of retiring for some time.
He said that it is his intent to retire on Sept. 3.
He also said that he thought he was doing a good job as chief.
Hillard agreed. I honor his decision to retire, he said. Jim
did a good job for us.
After Councils meeting Monday, Tony Arnett, the Council president,
declined to comment on Millers assertions, saying that the participation
of personnel matters are not for me to discuss.
Miller was hired as police chief in 1993, succeeding Wiley Sampson, who
was also hired the same year but abruptly resigned just a few months into
the job. Sampson succeeded longtime Police Chief Jim McKee, who died earlier
During his career here, Miller guided the department through several high-profile
issues, including a large protest in 2000 when Antioch College asked Mumia
Abu-Jamal, who is on death row in Pennsylvania for killing a police officer,
to give a commencement address, and several missing persons cases in the
last year. In addition, the Village settled last year a sexual harassment
suit filed by former officer Kimberly Monhollen, and in January, another
former officer, Matt Williams, filed a complaint in a Greene County court,
appealing the Villages decision to fire him.
Miller said that he is going to miss working with local schoolchildren
and administrators and students at Antioch College.
Its been a great pleasure and very rewarding to serve the
community of Yellow Springs and the residents for the past nine years,
Miller said that he does not know what he will do after he officially
retires later this year. It will, he said, give him the opportunity to
do some things that I had been contemplating.
Hillard said that his plans to search for a new police chief are preliminary,
but that the search will incorporate a community process. He said that
he plans to form a broad-based search committee that will
include Village officials and local residents. Hillard will present a
search plan at Councils next meeting, March 17. The manager is responsible
for hiring the chief of police.
Grote said that right now he will not be a candidate for the position,
explaining that there is a lot I can do as a captain. The
police chief is a difficult position that involves reporting
to a lot of people, Grote said.
Right now, I report to one person, he said.