By Zach Armstrong
PETERSBURG, Va -- Shortly after Kenneth A. Miller accepted an award that recognized Petersburg's Police department’s compliance with professional law enforcement standards on Sept. 29, he announced he was retiring from the department after three years as Petersburg’s police chief.
The Petersburg Police Department has never before been fully accredited in the agency’s 210-year history. A crowd of city officials gathered as an official accreditation sticker was placed on a police cruiser.
The accreditation given to the department increases the agency’s ability to prevent and control crime through efficient delivery of services, helps increase residents’ confidence in the department’s policies and creates new opportunities to apply for grant funding.
Deputy Chief Travis Christian will succeed as the department’s top officer when Miller, 61, officially retires on Nov. 1. Christian’s 30 years in law enforcement have been spent in Petersburg in addition to previously serving as police chief in Waverly and deputy chief at Virginia Union University.
Christian has “been developed for the last two years to take my job,” Miller said to the Richmond Times Dispatch. “Let me tell you something about him: He’ll be better than me. I know it because that’s why I selected him. He’ll take this to the next level, places where I couldn’t take it.”
Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham was present for the announcement stating “We celebrate and congratulate our Petersburg Bureau of Police on this incredible achievement.”
Among Miller’s accomplishments named at the ceremony, the Chief noted a highly publicized operation to tackle violent crime and dismantle a major drug and firearms trafficking gang known as the High Society Hit Squad which the department teamed with the FBI, ATF, DEA and U.S. Marshals Service.
“I’m not the guy that did the work,” Miller said. “It was the sworn officers and non-sworn [personnel] that made this happen.”