WEST LAFAYETTE -- The recent promotion of Cpl. Erin Miller could be considered an important historical milestone for the West Lafayette Police Department. Miller was promoted from corporal to sergeant on Jan. 3, 2010. Miller's promotion was announced at the Feb. 22 village council meeting by Police Chief Terry Mardis.

Miller has been a corporal officer with the West Lafayette Police Department since October 2004. She is a graduate of the Police Academy program at COTC and a graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Miller is a life long resident of Coshocton County and is married to Brian Miller.

Miller said she is very proud of the recent promotion and being recognized as the first female sergeant on the West Lafayette police force.

"I feel a sense of self accomplishment with the promotion, but my main objective is still to assist Chief Mardis, and make sure the department runs smoothly and as efficiently as possible," she said.

Miller is one of 11 officers employed with the Village of West Lafayette. Five officers are full-time employees and six are at a part-time status.

Miller said she feels very dedicated to her job, and always strives to do her best for the department and the village. She credits her Dad for always encouraging her "to do the very best you can do with anything and go as far as you can with it."

One of the highlights of her job, she said, is the local elementary students. The police department currently provides a program titled, "Officer Phil," which utilizes a ventriloquist and magic acts to teach grades kindergarten through fourth about general safety practices, and deals with topics such as bullying, morale boosting and ethical practices for decision making (knowing right from wrong).

Miller has been involved with the third grade seat belt program for the past two years and is also in the planning phase of implementing a program titled, "Eddie Eagle," which will emphasize gun safety. She is also researching other beneficial safety programs that will target the junior and high school population.

The following items were also presented or discussed at the council meeting:

* Tracy Hains, a representative from the Coshocton County Coordinated Transportation Agency, presented the specifics about a new shuttle service (New Freedom Transportation) to be offered to Coshocton County residents. Hains said the objective is to offer local rural area residents the chance to receive transportation to nearby areas for shopping, entertainment, festivals, social functions or recreational events at a minimal cost. The service is being offered through a partnership with the Ohio Department of Transportation. The shuttle service will begin offering service on Saturday, March 6. There will be three designated pick up areas in West Lafayette (Main Street, across from the American Legion), Warsaw (Main Street, in front of the fire department) and Conesville (at the Conesville United Methodist Church, north end of the parking lot). Several designated drop off sites in Coshocton will be Walmart, Downtowner Plaza and Buehler's. Additional stops are available upon request. The cost will be $1 per person (each way). Transportation to the Colony Square Mall in Zanesville will also be offered on the third Saturday of each month. Cost will be $5 per person (each way). Children under age 12 ride free with a paying adult. Hours of operation are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information, call (740) 622-7139.

* Council approved a second reading of an ordinance to comply with federal emergency management agency mandates.

* Mayor Patterson presented information from TimeWarner cable regarding a new state video service provider fee for cable franchising. Council agreed to have village solicitor Bill Owens review the matter before proceeding any further.

* Village administrator Dave Kardi said the Ohio EPA will have an update information session regarding the Brownfield cleanup at the former Penn Michigan site. The session will take place at Ridgewood High School on March 31 at 7 p.m.

* Police Chief Mardis said the department will soon be receiving a new Marcs radio system. The radio will have long range capabilities that are necessary for state wide communication. EMS currently uses the same type of radio. Mardis said the department will also be having I-links service for their portable laptops that are now being used in the cruisers. The system will be beneficial to provide officers will up to the minute communication between other departments/units. Several fees were waived according to Mardis equaling a $900 savings for the village. Mardis said a license plate reader and a Rapid ID unit are also being applied for through Homeland Security grants. According to Mardis, the two units as well as the other items mentioned will greatly improve the department's efficiency and benefit the community.

Council's next meeting will be March 8 at 7 p.m.