As the new police station nears completion, Councilman Brian Baer and Councilwoman Nirmala Samaroo, both representing Ward 3, are presenting a “Meet the Chief” night at the Milford Public Library. The event will be held October 25 from 6 to 8 PM in the Lions Room of the library, located at 11 Southeast Front Street.
“Nirmala and I walked all over town this weekend, handing out flyers to this event,” Councilman Baer said at a recent council meeting. “We are hoping to have a very large turnout for this event and give the people of Milford the opportunity to talk with the chief, learn more about her and her vision as well as provide her with feedback in what the public may want to see in the police force.”
Chief Cecilia “CC” Ashe, who began her career with Milford in February 2023, has been in law enforcement for 27 years, working in Arlington County, Virginia as well as in Wilmington. She decided to apply for the position in Milford as she had owned a home in Sussex County for more than a decade and it had always been her plan to move downstate.
At the event in late October, Chief Ashe will update the community on recent changes to the police station including incorporation of evidence-based research into law enforcement and providing services that lead with empathy and compassion. At a recent board meeting, Chief Ashe was praised, along with Jenna Haines, the Milford Police Department Behavioral Unit clinician, for their efforts in focusing on the mental health aspect of criminal behavior.
“We recently traveled to Raleigh Durham to do a presentation on how police department can start to look and move towards alternative responses to positions, which really highlighted our behavioral health unit and the successes of our unit,” Chief Ashe told council. “And so this is really good opportunity to kind of get us into the national spotlight on how do police departments look at these things. One of the things it’s really important to emphasize in a lot of these executive arenas and law enforcement, is the fact that we’re a small agency. And when you’re a small agency and you’re capable of doing these great things, you’re going to be asked a lot of times to do these presentations because small agencies can do it then it makes it a lot easier for big agencies to do it. So it does work and the work of the officers really was highlighted there. And we had great feedback.”
Mayor Archie Campbell commended the chief and Haines for their work.
“I just want to give you a compliment. You know, I sit on the state opioid commission,” Mayor Campbell said. “They are actually using the chief and Jenna as examples for the state because they are doing a great job.”
Councilman Jason James, who spearheaded the creation of the Behavioral Health Unit with MPD, agreed with Mayor Campbell, also giving credit to former Chief Kenneth Brown for running with his idea for the unit.
“I do thank your predecessor, Chief Brown, for grabbing the idea of the Behavioral Health Unit and running with it. But I do want to thank you and Jenna because your continued support and effort and you have taken with this thing, basically placing it on steroids,” Councilman James said. “And for looking for money for future funding. Because these things are very important to the community. So, I personally want to thank you for those continued focus on this very important part of our community that needs to have behavioral health interaction.”
Chief Ashe also announced that she was working with Sara Bluhm, Economic Vitality and Community Relations Director, to plan an open house for the new police station once it was completed.
For more information about the Meet the Chief event, contact Milford City Hall at 302-422-1111. There is no charge to attend and it is open to the public.
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