Peter Miller

Police Commissioner
United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor
Focus Area(s)
Accountable Policing
Critical Tasks
External accountability
Community policing
Arthur Boutellis
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. 

Full Interview

78 MB
Peter Miller - Full Interview

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.

UN Policies
training curriculum
pre-deployment training
oversight agency
local police training
information sources
ethnic representation
Donor Relations
disciplinary system
community policing
Not specified