Supt. Cameron Miller makes a quick introduction and apologizes for breaking an interview appointment.
Miller, the Nanaimo RCMP detachment’s new commanding officer, is also head of the RCMP’s Vancouver Island tactical team and has an evolving situation – a man with a firearm and possible shots fired – on his hands, but still pauses to apologize for postponing a meeting.
Miller joined the RCMP in 1990 and had postings in B.C., including Surrey. He applied his degree in commerce to investigating commercial crime, stock market enforcement and proceeds of crime.
Miller also has 22 years experience as a navigation and weapons officer with Canada’s Naval Reserve, served while with the RCMP, which was useful during his two-year position as head of the RCMP’s Marine Security Operations Centre for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
He transferred to Ottawa in 2012 to become operations policy officer of the proceeds of crime branch and in 2013 became officer in charge of the federal coordination centre overseeing financial crime.
After five years working at a federal policy-making level, Miller wanted to return to operational policing work.
“When I came here 17 months ago I’d been five years away from operations work,” Miller said. “I wanted to get back into operations and this was a good place to come back to.”
Miller strongly supports police engagement with youth through RCMP school liaison work and programs such as Kids for Kids and the youth empowerment program that run in Georgia Avenue Community and Fairview Elementary schools.
“We want to expand those programs,” Miller said.
He’s also a strong backer of 529 Garage, a mobile app-based bike anti-theft program launched in Nanaimo in June, that allows police to return more recovered stolen bikes to their owners. Miller agrees there are more serious crime issues such as the drug trade, but said police can’t safely involve the public in catching people dealing fentanyl. A major side benefit of Garage 529 is its potential for safe, positive community engagement in crime prevention.
Miller wants to improve safety on Nanaimo’s roads too through educating motorists and using data from sources such as ICBC to focus on where and why crashes happen.
“Year-to-date on Nanaimo’s roads we’ve had seven fatalities,” Miller said. “For all of last year we had seven deaths and we’re only at September.”
Nanaimo RCMP detachment’s two most recent superintendents Mark Fisher and Norm McPhail each left the detachment after about two years in command. Miller reiterated his desire to get back into operations level policing.
“I have plans and ideas and there is no intention of going anywhere,” Miller said.