Staff Sergeant Debbie Miller is one of the first of five Black female police officers who were hired by the Ottawa police Service in 1994. She is a mother, wife, daughter and sister who is well aware of the key role she plays as a conduit between her community and her chosen policing profession. S/Sgt. Miller believes that each role ignites her passion to inspire those around her to be the best that they can be and to believe that “anything is possible” as long as they put their minds to it. As an active member of the Ottawa community, she mentors young women and youth. She participates on capacity building initiatives and delivers keynote presentations on the importance of working collaboratively to create strong and safe neighborhoods for “a better tomorrow”.
Debbie Miller has had the privilege of patrolling the streets of Ottawa, responding to emergency calls for service. She has facilitated and provided police training for officers across her organization and other policing agencies. She has managed ground breaking initiatives, on an international level. She has partnered with police, government and child protection agencies to develop children and youth education and prevention strategies, engaging and empowering them to ensure that their voices are heard.
In 2008 while she was seconded to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), S/Sgt Miller collaborated with the International Youth Advisory Congress (IYAC) on a national strategy which focused on Online Safety and Security for youth. She recruited twenty Canadian youth who travelled with her to the United Kingdom, where they participated in panel discussions discussing child and youth safety while using social media tools. The knowledge and skills from this (first of its kind) project were implemented by schools and policing agencies across Canada as an added tool for combating the exploitation of young people.
S/Sgt. Miller’s current role is leading the Ottawa Police Outreach Recruitment Team, which is dedicated to actively recruiting qualified candidates who are representative of Ottawa’s diverse community. S/Sgt. Miller continues to give back the opportunity that was given to her. She reminds her organization and anyone else who crosses her path that we are ALL responsible for developing tomorrow’s world leaders.
- When not working S/Sgt. Miller spends time with her family, playing sports and pursuing her love of photography. She actively volunteers her talent as a photographer to local charities and community events (2013 and 2014 Afro Caribbean Cotillion, The Dapo Agoro Foundation for Peace), to name a few. This is just another way in which she gives back to her community. Website: www.DHMphotography.ca.
Few facts about Debbie Miller
- Originally from Jamaica. Raised by a single parent, her mother. One of her role models.
- Graduated from Carleton University in 1993 with a BA in Sociology/Anthropology.
- First recipient of the Ottawa Police Service Thomas G Flanagan Scholarship (1993). This scholarship is given to a Racialized female and or Aboriginal female with an interest in Policing.
- One of two visible minority female who have achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant within the Ottawa Police.
- S/Sgt. Miller is a member of the Board of Directors for Crossroads Children’s Centre, a fully accredited children’s mental health centre that provides services for children up to age 12 and their families.
- S/Sgt. Miller is a member of The Community and Police Action Committee (COMPAC). The committee provides the police service and visible minority and Aboriginal community members an opportunity to interact on a level playing field and define common challenges and solutions
Awards and Recognition:
- Ontario Women in Law Enforcement (OWLE) Mentorship Award 2007
- Profiles in Diversity Journal- Profiled in this American Leaders journal. One of only two Black Canadian leaders profiled in 2008
- Global Community Alliance Community Builders Award- 2009
- IODE Canada (Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire): Community award (2012) Recognized by this organization for my efforts in collecting life necessities for Haiti during the earthquake.
Photo by Trevor Lush, Ottawa Police Service