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This is the Keith Miller I know

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Fri, Jul 02, 2010

Editor: In previous articles, I highlighted several areas of concern within the police force, in which the Commissioner of Police Keith Miller came directly under the firing squad.{{more}}

As an ordinary layman attempting to write short articles from time to time, I know that a story is not complete unless that are two sides, a rule of thumb all educated journalists, commentators and disc jockeys learn but very few practice. Sensationalism, for most, is the rule of the day.

This is the Keith Miller few people know. I remember the days of the late sixties, early seventies, growing up in Belair, where sports kept the young men off the streets and away from drugs. Being selected on the cricket team for Belfongo (Belair, Fountain and Gomea) was the envy of every man. Keith and yours truly made the team. Never had I seen Mr. Miller display anything other than true sportsmanship and team spirit. When I would be the one arguing a point, should our team lose, Keith, as he was known to all of us and still prefers to be called despite rising to prominence, always kept a level head.

The village of Belair (NDP and ULP supporters alike) is proud to have produced a fine young man in such a prominent position. His family, including him, is honest to a fault. So humble are they that one can easily mistake their meekness for weakness. They are a very private and close-knit family, and would refuse to air any kind of laundry in public.

This point brings me to his current position. When the ULP administration took office in 2001, Ralph Gonsalves administration had the tedious choice of selecting a Commissioner after the retirement of Commissioner Harry in 2005. The nation waited with bated breath expecting that one of the “Ralphites” would have easily been named to such position. I must hand it to the Prime Minister again in making a wise choice. I am positive that Mr. Miller was never one of his informers when he was in opposition. Remember the old adage: “the dog that brings a bone carries a bone.” Mr. Miller was not and still is not the type. The Prime Minister chose a man of impeccable character: no past baggage, no smoker, and no drinker (his strongest drink is still a malt up to today).

Well, as was expected, this did not sit well with many of his seniors who thought they should have got the position. They felt short changed after

clamoring so heavily during elections. Now they claim that Commissioner Miller lacks experience, and boy, they are making sure that his tenure is ungovernable.

Remember I mentioned several articles previously in which I knocked the Commissioner’s office. Most of those articles came from senior officers who brought information to me. If that in itself wasn’t bad, they incited junior staff to disrespect the man and the office he holds. In an attempt to get more information, I had to appear to publish what I was told. Well, you be the judge of his experience. Commissioner Miller stayed a Police Constable for more than 17 years, working at almost every district in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and even at Central Police Station in Kingstown. He learnt the ropes of being an ordinary cop the hard and rugged way. Speak of a man who was pushed around and never complained. Never sought personal fame or glory, never requested a promotion. He cared for people of all walks of life, without accepting bribe or kickbacks. Along the way, he sought to better educate himself, as we both failed Common Entrance. Today, he holds a degree in Law, and knowing his determination, that’s not the last you will hear of his academic accolades.

Commissioner Miller, if today or tomorrow the Government changes office, you are one lucky police officer who can demit office with a clean slate.

I started this article by saying “the Keith Miller I know”. Today, you are still the same humble and caring person. Never in the history of the police force has a nation ever seen so many incentives and promotions being offered to police officers than under your leadership. Our nation has the lowest crime rate in the region despite what is propagated on the airwaves daily.

We in Belair are proud to have produced a fine son of the soil. Not once did this position change you. You have made us proud. Ride on, Commissioner Miller. We are marching.

Kingsley DeFreitas

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