Santee’s new top law enforcement officer is pleased to be back on her home turf.
“I’ve grown up here my entire life,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Lisa Miller, a graduate of El Capitan High School who went on to earn a master’s degree in 1992.
She launched her law enforcement career while in high school as a cadet with the El Cajon Police Dept. explorer program.
|Capt. Lisa Miller|
Miller took over command of the Sheriff’s Dept. Santee Station on Sept. 7 , succeeding Capt. Ed Musgrove as the city’s de facto police chief. The Santee station is the headquarters for 75 sheriff’s deputies who cover Santee, Lakeside and unincorporated areas of El Cajon.
Miller has worked for the sheriff’s department for 28 years and was previously stationed in Santee when she was a patrol sergeant.
While Santee’s reputation as a low-crime area is well deserved, the city has its share of burglaries and drug-related crimes, she said. Deputies, including officers on bicycles, also keep tabs on homeless encampments that spring up in the riparian zone along the San Diego River.
With three high schools in her jurisdiction, Miller intends to continue the department’s emphasis on juvenile intervention programs. One of the more popular of these is Start Smart, a seminar aimed at keeping young drivers from making fatal mistakes involving alcohol or texting while driving.
“The idea behind the intervention programs is to get juveniles straightened out before they get into the (criminal justice) system, ”said Miller, who is married and the mother of a teenage son.
Another priority is the ongoing public education program that focuses on the “social host” law that imposes criminal penalties on parents and other adults who are held responsible for providing alcohol to minors.
Modern crime fighting involves extensive use of analytics.
Using data from crime reports, local crime analysts create maps illustrating where clusters of burglaries and other crimes are occurring. The maps, which are updated every 45 days, are used by patrol deputies to focus on trouble spots, she said.
“We’re doing more crime fighting with intelligence and forecasting where (crimes) may occur,” she said.
Keeping the lines of communication open with the community are of utmost importance, she said.
“One of my strongest attributes is working with the community,” she said. “I’m approachable and open. I can’t solve all the problems, but together we can work on them.”