On September 22, the Salt River Police Department (SRPD) held a retirement ceremony to honor Margaret Miles, police records manager and a 28-year SRPD employee. Miles is the wife of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Kervin Miles, a former Salt River Fire Department (SRFD) battalion chief who served the Community for 31 years at the SRFD. In addition, son Jared Miles, a firefighter/paramedic with the SRFD, daughter Alena Miles and son Josiah Webster, along with some of the Miles grandchildren and significant others, were all present to witness and be a part of the ceremony.
SRFD Chief Patrick Melvin stated to a full room of co-workers, tribal executives and friends, “Today is a happy day and a sad day for us. Happy in the sense that [we know] you are going on to do more things in your life, … and sad for us because we are not going to see you, be around you, and sad because the things you do here in the Community and in the police department, we are not going to see that anymore. I just want to say thank you so much.”
Chief Melvin described Miles as “a person who was soft-spoken but had a very demanding voice; like E.F. Hutton, when she spoke, everyone listened.”
Miles’ work history is extensive. She started with the SRPD on October 10, 1987, as an assistant records clerk. At the time there were only two employees in the records department, and many of the files were manual. Chief Melvin shared, “There was one stand-alone computer and no one knew how to use the software; Margaret had just graduated from Lamson Business College and was familiar with the software, so she put the computer to use!”
During the early years of her employment, Miles volunteered to train as a dispatcher; she was also temporarily assigned as a secretary to Chief of Police Edward Reina and also performed job duties of the executive secretary, who was out on extended leave. In October 1988, she was promoted to the executive secretary position.
She was hired as the SRPD administrative office manager in June 2000; that position included oversight of the records division. Miles stated, “I spent a lot of time in the records division, learning from Denise Card and Curtis Thomas. It was a huge responsibility, and I was scared I wasn’t going to learn it all, but with their help I did!”
On August 8, 2005, Miles became the police records manager, working to organize, develop and grow the department from two employees to a staff of 11. This included developing workstations and the hiring and training of staff to create a new records bureau for the department.
The retirement ceremony included additional comments and remarks by SRPMIC Assistant Community Manager Carla Banuelos, SRPD Lt. Jonathan Gann, Assistant Chief of Police Karl Auerbach, SRPD Lt. Michaela Sample and others. Lunch was provided for all in attendance.
Miles reflected, “I have seen the SRPD and the Community grow [over the years] … I’m glad I had a hand in the changes at the department. … The people I hired over the years are really the ones that helped me to be the person I am today—they did all work, I just led them. I commend them because they did a lot for me.”
Miles added, “I love my job! My children were latchkey children, [because] I was so busy with work. Now, I have grandchildren; I want to make time for them.” Miles was presented with a plaque and service coin on behalf of the department.