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Council farewells area commander

Wairarapa Police Area Commander Inspector Scott Miller, who retires later this month, was farewelled by Masterton District Council at its meeting on Wednesday.

His retirement comes as he reaches his fortieth year on the force, having joined New Zealand Police on April 16, 1984.

Miller officially took up the role of the region’s area commander in 2018, having been appointed Acting Area Commander the year before.

Although he’d spent the majority of his policing career in Wellington, he’d previously served as head of the region’s Criminal Investigation Branch [CIB] – which is dedicated to investigating and solving serious crime and targeting organised crime and recidivist criminals – from 2013-2015.

He’d also spent four months stationed in Masterton to help protect local officers and residents during the Nomad gang firebombing campaign that targeted police houses in the region in 1988.

Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell paid tribute to Miller at the council meeting, noting that it was to his “credit that he has built strong relationships across the region with iwi, mayors, councils, members of parliament and community groups”.

His input while representing police on several governance working groups tasked with addressing issues such as family harm and disadvantaged community members “has been hugely significant”, Caffell said, who credited the recent establishment of the Wairarapa Youth Governance Oversight Group to Miller’s forthright approach.

“For me, that group typifies perfectly the huge impact Scott has had on our community,” Caffell said, “not just as a powerful-looking man wearing a blue uniform with a few stripes on but as someone who really cares about people, especially those who are being disadvantaged by circumstances often beyond their control.

“Yes, the police will miss your leadership and passion, but even more so our community will miss the wonderful empathy and care you have shown towards so many of our people.”

    The Times-Age will publish an exit interview with Miller that canvasses his many years of service once he has officially retired.

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