You can argue if you want but some officers are just born to be investigators.
It so happens that this particular officer also knows how to take serial rapists – also known to rob their victims – off Houston streets and in the harm’s way they created.
Officer Kimberly Miller said she wanted to be a police officer as early as her years at Alief Elsik High on the Southwest side. She made inquiries at age 19 but her parents made her wait until she turned 21.
“That was a bad decision,” she said with a wink. “I would have 34 years now.”
She joined Academy Class No. 130 in November 1985. She didn’t bounce around the Department through very many units before landing in the Westside Robbery Division.
Miller, now an HPD veteran of “only” 31 years and growing, worked Westside Patrol from 1985 until 1994, not including a year in Dispatch. She also spent four years in Juvenile Sex Crimes before coming to Westside Robbery in 1998.
She believes it’s her HPD home. Her steadfast work toward the arrest of two Houston serial rapists within a one-year period continues to attract widespread recognition.
“I like to take a case and really work it,” Miller said. “I really like working violent offenders. Every one of my cases could be a capital murder if things go awry.”
To hear her tell it, “I don’t believe that people can go out and threaten people, injure people and take their property. It’s wrong! And no one should have the ability to do that.”
Kim Miller lives by that sturdy tenant and doesn’t have to worry about taking her job home.
You might laugh when you hear the reason – if you don’t already know.
Her “partner” at Westside – the good cop to her bad or vice versa – is none other than her husband, Officer Jeff Miller.
“He is my partner,” the wife said. “We’ve been together 18 years. He’s been on one year longer. He’s a veteran and I’m not.”
Now you know why she wishes she had joined at age 19 – she would have more seniority.
“He worked in Westside Patrol when I did,” she said. “We had known each other for years. We met in an extra job. I was in Juvenile Sex Crimes and he convinced me to come to Robbery.”
Currently, each Miller has his/her own caseload. “We just work cases together,” Kim said. “We have our own cases we work together in the same division, same squad. When we have to go question or look for a suspect, generally we go together.”
The greatest example might he the questioning of serial rape suspect Reginald Bond.
The husband and wife team obviously have a special rapport from working together 24/seven. In any given interview they could alternate being the good cop or the bad cop, depending on the facts and attitudes in the situation.
“They (suspects) don’t always realize they are dealing with a husband and wife,” the wife said. “Sometimes suspects pick up on it. They’ll ask because we have the same last name.
“We try not to be personal with the suspects. The less personal, the better.
“We complement each other. When one of us is so close to something we can’t see it (the breakthrough development), we have a second set of eyes. We work together well as far as knowing each other and responding to questions.”
Often a male suspect might be more comfortable talking to Jeff and a female more at ease talking to the female half of the team.
“Whether they want to talk to a man or woman – we can pick up on that. We get the idea and (one of us) leaves the room to go run something. Our confession rate’s pretty good. We’ve been doing it a long time.”
Kim Miller has two sons from a previous marriage and she and Jeff have a son and daughter together.