Peter Miller served with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for 35 years, during which we worked mainly in international police peacekeeping. Under United Nations auspices, he served as deputy commissioner of operations and training in Haiti, police commissioner for the United Nations in Western Sahara and later as police commissioner in East Timor. In Western Sahara, Miller had police officers from 10 countries under his command and in East Timor he oversaw a police force of 3,000 officers including both local and international police. After retiring from the RCMP, Miller worked with the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, a Canadian nonprofit organization, on capacity building in Africa related to peacekeeping operations.
United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor
Country of Reform:
Date of Interview:
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Peter Miller draws on his experience in East Timor to highlight the challenges of building a domestic police force. He stresses that reformers must resist pressures to politicize the police by hiring unqualified friends of elected officials. Miller also mentions the difficulties posed by donor countries that press for fast action in order to minimize their costs. He says such pressures often produce domestic police forces that are inadequately prepared to take over when interim police units withdraw, as was the case in East Timor. Miller also is critical of the quality of many of the international police officers from contributing countries, especially those without a strong tradition of community policing. He calls for greater investments in the training of police officers before they are deployed, as well as in situ training of citizens.
Peter Miller - Full Interview
Nationality of Interviewee:
local police training