Joel Miller

Joel Miller graduated from Mineral Point High School in 2000. He was inducted into the Mineral Point Hall of Fame for defensive end and offensive tackle from 1997-1999. One of his favorite memories about Mineral Point was his senior year of football, 1999. “It was a special year because of its success, and it was Mr. Murphy’s last year coaching. The year started out mediocre and took a turn when we started winning more and more games until we made it to state; it was a very special experience.” The Pointers finished state runner-ups that year.

Joel has been with the La Crosse Police Department since 2006. He served as one of the first Neighborhood Resource Officers, the first Victims Services Officer, and the first Community Resource Officer. When Joel was asked when he realized he wanted to pursue being a police officer, he said, “I was friends with the school resource officer, he was a family friend, and we attended church with him. I would do ride alongs as a senior for job shadowing, it was cool, and I considered it. I went to college for biology and changed to psychology and criminology. The law enforcement seed was planted in high school job shadows and knowing him.” 

“One of my biggest accomplishments so far was working at the police department working with a group of ending homelessness in La Crosse. Working with a big group made a lot of changes, by finding housing for the homeless. We started an organization called The Exchange group project to collect furniture and maintain a store where social workers and their clients shop for household items. About five years go, we handed it off, and it still serves thirty to fifty people a month.”

Joel was recognized by the Wisconsin State Assembly’s First Responders Appreciation Month with the Hometown Hero Award in October 2021. Joel has been nominated and selected for the First Responder of the Year award for the 95th Assembly District and selected to represent the district by Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse). 

Joel was asked about how it felt to receive this award, and he said, “I didn’t know my chief had submitted me to the state representative of the legislative district. Each district could have a winner. I didn’t know I won and I was shocked and felt humbled, I feel honored. My chief said I was submitted because I was an overall good police officer and did my job well.” 

Joel has been said to be a true representative of the best qualities needed for law enforcement as an officer and first responder by Billings. Officer Miller has “a wide variety of experience as a Community Resource Officer, Victim Services Officer, Downtown Neighborhood Resource Officer, and a Liaison with behavior health specialists,” he has also been said to be a “caring individual in his job as he helps community members access the services and assistance that they need. He continues to go above and beyond the call of duty and increase his skills and knowledge in order to better serve our community. 

By: Mya James