Updated: April 13, 2014 6:24AM
HAMMOND — Cracking big cases and arresting bad guys, while rewarding, isn’t the reason that Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller enjoys his job.
It’s swearing in new officers and watching his officers working hard to protect the public, at times risking their lives, that made his 10-year tenure as chief the most rewarding part of his police career. Increasing the number of crime watch groups in the city and seeing the community become more involved with police ran a close second, Miller said.
Miller, 52, will retire as chief March 31 to take a position with the city in insurance investigation. His assistant, John Doughty, will succeed him April 1, and Uniform Division Capt. Jeff Long will replace Doughty.
Miller has been with the police department since 1990, starting as a patrol officer and working his way up into field training, the SWAT team and the violent crimes unit. His last case in violent crimes was David Maust, who was convicted of murdering three young boys and burying their bodies in concrete. “That case was December 2003, and I was appointed chief in January 2004 out of a pool of 22 applicants,” Miller said.
Miller is not ruling out a return to law enforcement.
“I love law enforcement, and my career has been wonderful,” he said. “I’d told people that 2014 would be my last year as chief, and as I did, people started offering me other positions (in the private sector). Maybe those will pan out, and maybe I’ll consider another position on another department if it’s offered.”
Mayor Thomas McDermott said in a statement Tuesday that Hammond is a better place because of Miller’s commitment and dedication to its citizens.
Miller is pleased with the choices of Doughty and Long to their new posts.
“John does a great job, and it will be a seamless transition for everybody,” he said. “He’s honest, very intelligent and very levelheaded. He will be a great fit.”
Doughty is a 30-year veteran of the police force and has served as a field training officer, K-9 handler, SWAT commander, sergeant and captain of the uniform division.
Long has served with the department for 24 years, most recently as captain of the uniform division and has also been a field training officer, K-9 handler, SWAT commander, sergeant and lieutenant in internal affairs.