Space Coast Public Service Awards Recognizes Jake Miller With Lifetime Achievement Award
By BCSO Chief Deputy Doug Waller // August 21, 2016
SPACE COAST PSA HALL OF FAME NOMINEE
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In every community there are great men and women who have, by their strength of will and character, become ingrained in the consciousness of our society. They are doers and risk takers who have made a stand and a commitment for the common-good. They are labeled as public servants, but they are truly our natural leaders whose legacies are the milestones of our progress.
The Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes public service professionals who have dedicated years of service during a distinguished career where they significantly advanced the public safety or service profession, and by substantial service, has furthered the cause of justice and the mission of community service. The award is presented to a deserving individual (living or deceased) who has taken a long-term leadership role in a public or community service profession. Recipients of this award are recognized for making extraordinary contributions and sacrifices through a body of work that positively impacted their organization and community over their lifetime.
JAKE MILLER SERVED FOUR TERMS AS BREVARD COUNTY SHERIFF
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Claude W. “Jake” Miller graduated from the State Police Academy in Richmond, VA, and started out as a Foot Patrolman in Hampton, VA. He worked through the ranks to Detective and decided to move to Brevard County in 1965.
Upon moving to Brevard County, Miller joined the Titusville Police Department, ultimately becoming Chief of Police in 1973. He remained there until 1978. During that time, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida and attended the FBI National Academy’s 105th session.
On January 5, 1979, he was appointed Sheriff of Brevard County by the Honorable Governor Bob Graham to complete the term of Sheriff David Strawn. On August 20, 1979, he was appointed Acting Chief of the Melbourne Police Department.
In 1980, he was elected Sheriff of Brevard County, where he served until his retirement in 1997. While serving as Sheriff, he met the love of his life and soul mate, Kathy.
During his four terms as Sheriff, Miller brought a new energy, a new way of thinking, and a new kind of policing to Brevard County. He was responsible for many more changes than can even be listed in this short nomination letter.
Miller was not afraid of change or to try something new.
Although a career as full as Sheriff Miller’s was undoubtedly filled with awards and commendations, he was certainly not one to talk about them. His legacy and what gave him the most pride was what he did to make the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office so successful.
When he was appointed Sheriff in 1979, there were 100 deputies and he was presented with a $4.5 million budget that was worked up on a yellow legal pad.
When Miller left office in 1997, there were 700 deputies, a large complement of civilian employees and worked with the County Commissioners to establish a $40 million budget to meet the needs of the citizens of Brevard County.
He left behind a strong agency, ready to face the future and meet the ever-changing and growing needs of its citizens.
Much has changed over the years since Miller guided the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, such as today the agency has 863 deputies, a total of over 1,500 employees and volunteers, and a budget of $124 million.
However, one thing remains as a constant reminder of Sheriff Miller, every member of the current sworn Command Staff was hired by Jake Miller with Chief Deputy Doug Waller, Judicial Services Chief Mike Lewis and Commander Jimmy Donn serving on Sheriff Miller’s Command Staff as well.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Space Coast Daily is very proud to sponsor and produce the first annual Space Coast Public Service Awards and Hall of Fame Induction, which will be held Saturday, September 24 at the King Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne. With all the seemingly endless politically-charged negative rhetoric in the media aimed at our first responders, we felt it was time as a media entity to make a statement and give these men and women the respect and support they deserve. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this compelling event where all proceeds will benefit the Brevard County Public Safety Charity.
Seating for this celebration of these outstanding public servants is now available, so don’t delay in making your reservation. The festivities will include a meet-and-greet with our outstanding public servants, food and drink, and the induction proceeding – which will feature compelling video tributes.
All proceeds of this event will go to the Brevard County Public Safety Charity which benefits our law enforcement officers and firefighters in their time of need. These funds will help our public safety members when they face critical challenges such as medical emergencies, long term illness or even the tragedy of a line of duty death. This charity organization is designed to help protect those that protect us.
For additional information about the Brevard County Public Safety Charity, please contact Sue Parker at Sue.Parker@BCSO.us.
– Tom Palermo, Space Coast Daily President & Publisher
FOR MORE INFORMATION about the Space Coast Public Service Awards and Hall of Fame Induction, call 321-615-8111 or 321-323-4460.