Niles Public Safety Director to retire after 32 years

Published 11:00 am Saturday, June 24, 2023

NILES — Before July arrives, City of Niles Public Safety Director Jim Millin will close the door to his office for the last time after serving more than 30 years in local law enforcement.

Millin is retiring from his position effective Friday, June 30. Police Captain Mike Dawson was appointed as interim Public Safety Director by the City Council during its May 22 meeting.

“It’s bittersweet,” Millin said. “I’m looking forward to it, but it’s gonna be a pretty significant change.” 

The Public Safety Director position serves the City of Niles as the Police Chief and Fire Chief responsible for overall administration of these departments. A Niles native who graduated from Niles High School in 1987, Millin has served the community for more than 32 years starting as a reserve police officer then completing the police academy in 1991 and becoming a licensed police officer, followed by K-9 officer, detective lieutenant in 2002, captain in 2008 and police chief in 2011 before taking on the public safety director position in 2020 when Chief Lamb retired from the Fire Department.

“I think Niles is a unique little town,” Millin said. “I think it functions very well from city management, all the way down. I think they’re doing things right – it doesn’t mean we can’t improve on things. We can always make things better but overall I think things are done right.”

When asked what makes no the right time to step away from the position, Millin said it just felt right.

“32 years is a long time,” he said. “They always say that it goes by in the blink of an eye. It does but then I think about things I’ve done specifically, cases I’ve investigated and so on and that’s a long time to do any one thing. I’m excited about maybe finding a different career; I’ll definitely do something else. I don’t know exactly what that’ll be – it very well could be in law enforcement. That’s what I know and that’s what comes easiest and most natural to me. But I’m not against maybe looking at something else, too. So we’ll see what presents itself.”

Millin said he plans to take a few months off to spend time with friends and family before deciding on future endeavors. Kelly Millin, his wife of 31 years, is currently the principal of Dowagiac Union High School. Their daughter, Ryan, is the city’s Community Development Director and their son James works for First Source Bank.

“I’ve been blessed,” Millin said. “I’ve been blessed with a good life, good career, good family, good friends and coworkers. Niles is a good city to work for, it’s been great.”