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Published: Wednesday, 2/22/2006

Whitehouse: Longtime police chief proves hard to replace


It won't be easy to replace Whitehouse Police Chief Norb Miller, who retired earlier this month after more than 30 years with the department and has moved to Indiana.

The village is debating how it wants to go about hiring his replacement, which is a mayoral appointment.

The department's sergeants are on a two-week rotation.

"The two sergeants are making it work," Mayor Stan Wielinski said.

Village administrator Dennis Recker said the personnel committee would meet March 7 to review the job description and decide how to advertise for the position.

Mr. Wielinski said it could be early May before a new chief is in place, adding that he wants to take time picking someone who will lead the department for 15 or 20 years.

"You need someone you can trust and someone who will do a good job and hopefully fill the shoes of the prior chief," Mr. Wielinski said.

Those who worked with Chief Miller said he was well-liked and dedicated, not just among the police force but in the community as a whole.

"He would give his 110 percent to make sure everything was OK," the mayor said.

During the chief's 32 years with the department, it grew from about six officers to seven full-time and 10 part-time officers, Sgt. Thomas Keel said.

"The police department grew leaps and bounds over the years," the mayor said.

Chief Miller started several new things while he was with the department, such as community policing. The mayor said the chief was instrumental in putting an officer in the Anthony Wayne school system.

He also oversaw the construction of a police station, Sgt. Keel said.

He kept up with the times, the mayor said.

"He always bought the state-of-the-art equipment he thought the officers needed for safety," Mr. Wielinski said.

Mr. Wielinski described the chief as a calm person who tried to work out problems civilly, and as a person who was fair to his subordinates.

Sgt. Keel said he was very knowledgeable about police work.

"He was a mentor to a lot of officers that started out," he said.

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