“I love being in law enforcement! I loved being an officer on patrol and being able to meet and talk with people in the community! I loved being a sergeant and assuming more responsibilities! I loved being a captain and now I love being the chief! This has been my dream since I first began on this career path. That’s why I earned an administration degree,” said Sylvania Police’s newest top officer, Danilynn Miller. She was sworn into the office during the Sept. 6 Sylvania City Council meeting.
One of her fondest memories is of the many conversations she had with Gus Lairos, who was frequently found sitting on the bench outside of his Kosta Coffee Shop on Maplewood Avenue at Main Street. “He had so many interesting stories. I learned so much just listening to him. And that has been true for so many of the people I have come to know in the community,” she stated.
“This is what we do at the Sylvania Police Department. We respect the people we serve and we get to know as many people as we can. While we are here to protect we are also here to serve,” she offered. “We want to be as visible as we can to help prevent crime as well as get to know our citizens so we can be of help wherever we can.”
According to Miller, she has wanted to be a police officer since she learned about law enforcement at a seventh-grade career fair. With a razor-sharp focus, she found a way to enroll in Penta County’s JVS law enforcement and security programs as an honors student at Anthony Wayne High School. In her senior year, she also enrolled in classes at Owens Community College, had a part-time job, and graduated at the top of her Anthony Wayne High School class.
The next chapter took her to Terra Technical College in Fremont, Ohio where she graduated with two associate degrees, one in police science and one in police administration. At the same time, she completed training at both the police academy and corrections academy in 1992.
Before joining the Sylvania Police Department in January 1994, she worked as a dispatcher one summer for the Put-In-Bay Police Department, was a security officer at Terra, then a Reserve Deputy in corrections at the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Department, and as an officer on the Willard, Ohio police department.
Chief Miller added a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Lourdes University in 1997, as well.
The newest chief credits her predecessor with creating an environment for a smooth transition for them both. “Rick and I had a great relationship and we worked closely during these past three crazy years,” she said. Chief Miller cited the protests, pandemic, and all of the mental health issues the department had to handle that were over and above the normal workload. “In addition, we added new policy management systems and a new records management system. We had a lot of things to manage.”
What are your plans for the department?
“Right now, I’m looking at taking a deep breath, then looking at everything we are doing and fix anything that needs some adjusting. Then, my team and I will do what we need to do,” she promised. “I also look forward to being on the streets and in the community whenever possible. That is what I love most about this job and what I love to do.”
When the chief is out of uniform, she takes great pride in working with her dogs, Kira and Minni-Me, who compete in agility trials at local, regional, and national levels where Kira recently won a third place medal competing with 700 other dogs. Kira also volunteers with Agility Angels, an Ability Center of Northwest Ohio program.
In addition, Chief Miller takes great joy in riding trails on her quarter-pony Harley.