DA Miller Receives Governor's Public Safety Award

Forsyth, GA – Governor Nathan Deal recognized Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney J. David Miller of Valdosta, presenting him with a prestigious award for “Outstanding Contribution which Enhances the Profession” at the Governor’s Public Safety Award (GPSA) Ceremony on December 17, 2014 at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, GA.

During his keynote address, Deal commended each of the award recipients, noting their dedication to public service and efforts to enhance the public safety profession. In addition to Miller, 12 outstanding public safety professionals were recognized for “Acts of Heroism” and four were commended for “Outstanding Contribution to the Profession,” during the award ceremony. The recipients were given medallions, and their names were added to the GPSA monument located inside the training center.

The annual GPSA program began in 1998 to recognize public safety officers who go above and beyond the call of duty to protect citizens and make significant contributions to the public safety profession at large.

“I can think of no one more deserving of this award,” said Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia (PAC) Executive Director Chuck Spahos. “Through his position as District Attorney and his leadership on numerous boards and committees, David Miller has served not only his constituency in South Georgia, but the entire state of Georgia.” 

Atlanta Fox 5 News reporter Randy Travis narrated the awards presentation and noted Miller’s leadership in authoring his circuit’s first child abuse protocol agreement two years before required by law, as well as guiding the establishment of three child advocacy centers and a battered women’s shelter in his circuit.

On the state level, Miller has served two terms on the PAC, including two terms as chairman in 2005 and 2012. For the past decade, he has served, and continues to serve, as the budget chairman for PAC, a role in which he assists the PAC staff in Atlanta in preparing the $66 million state budget for all of Georgia’s district attorney offices, as well as advocating for and explaining the budget needs of the state’s prosecutors to both the Governor and Legislature.

Miller has served in each officer capacity in the District Attorneys’ Association of Georgia (DAAG), including as president in 2001. He was named Georgia’s District Attorney of the Year in 2004, and was given the DAAG’s “Extra Mile Award” in 2011 for his service at the Georgia Legislature advocating for the interests of Georgia’s victims and prosecutors.

Miller has been an instructor at PAC’s Basic Litigation Course – a 40-hour introductory boot camp for new prosecutors – and has been a speaker at several state and national conferences usually speaking on the topics of child abuse prosecution and victims’ rights.

With a passion for advocating for child victims, Miller has served 12 years as the DA representative on the State Child Fatality Review Board. He is currently a member of Georgia’s Children Justice Task Force, one of Georgia’s three mandated Citizens Review Panels under the federal Child Abuse Protection and Treatment Act, as well as a past member of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles Citizens Advisory Panel. Additionally and has served as the PAC designee to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, which allocates tens of millions of grant dollars each year to government and non-profit agencies.

Upon notification of being selected for the award—an honor only three other district attorneys have received in the 16-year history of the award—Miller thanked his staff, noting that the only way that he has been able to be so active at the state level is due to the hard work and professionalism of a very stable staff that takes care of the important day-to-day duties of seeking justice for their communities.

Additionally, Miller noted that his mentors, former DA Lamar Cole and former DA recipients of the award Spencer Lawton and Bob Keller, all encouraged him, as a new DA, to get involved with state organizations.

“Most of the decisions affecting all of Georgia’s citizens are made inside the I-285 Perimeter in Atlanta,” said Miller. “It is important that the people of South Georgia stay involved and offer input into those decision-making processes. Otherwise, those decisions get made with just the Metro Atlanta point of view.”

Miller has been a member of the Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office since 1985, and became the elected District Attorney in 1997, serving Brooks, Colquitt, Echols, Lowndes and Thomas Counties.