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Eli J. Miletich

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The Matchbook and Other Cop Stories
Eli J. Miletich  More Info

About the Duluth Police Department

The Duluth Police Department is the third largest police department in Minnesota and has a staff of approximately 175; and, the annual 2007 budget was slightly over $17 million. The department is divided into the Patrol Division and the Investigative/Administrative Division. Each division is managed by a deputy chief of police. The Patrol Division is divided into 2 geographic patrol areas. Each area is under the command of a lieutenant. The Patrol Division consists of the following units; Traffic Bureau; Canine Unit; Community Policing Teams; and, Patrol shifts.


The Investigative/Administrative Division contains all investigative units and administrative functions. There are currently 2 lieutenants assigned to this division and consists of the following units; Violent Crimes Unit; Family Crimes Unit; Property/Financial Crimes Unit; Lake Superior Drug and Gang Task Force;  Training/Personnel/Licensing Unit; Records Support Unit; Animal Shelter/Control; and, other division responsibilities include internal investigations, fleet, MIS, facilities, and grant management


Each unit consists of a sergeant and several investigators. The department operates out of two main buildings. Police headquarters is located in City Hall, 411 West 1st Street and contains administrative and investigative offices as well as East Patrol Area operations. The West Duluth building is located at 5830 Grand Avenue (behind the Library and Fire Hall) and houses West Patrol Area operations, investigative personnel, and the emergency operations center.




Eli J. Miletich, a veteran of thirty three years service with the Duluth Police Department (Minnesota).  He worked in every division gaining a broad perspective of police work, and human nature with it's failures as well as successes.  In the Uniform Patrol Division, he received seven Exceptional Performance Commendations for apprehending suspects involved in crimes ranging from auto theft to burglary.


As a Sergeant and Officer in Charge of the Narcotics-Vice Unit, he received commendations from nine agencies, including the FBI, Justice Department and DEA, for assistance provided in their investigations.  An activist, he served his fellow officers for seventeen years as President of the Duluth Police Union, the bargaining unit for all officers except the Police Chief. He also was a regional vice president of the International Union of Police Associations for ten years.


Promoted to Lieutenant, he supervised the Traffic Bureau for one year, followed by the License and Training Unit for three years. Appointed Police Chief in 1982, he adapted the nation's first ever policy of Mandated Arrest for Domestic Abuse for which he was commended by the President of the United States. He was appointed to the Minnesota Police Officers Standards and Training Board by Governor Rudy Perpich serving eight years and was its chairman. He also was a Vice President of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.


After retirement, Miletich was recruited by a friend, a retired FBI agent, to serve in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the United Nations International Police Task Force to train and monitor police in that war torn nation. He served one year in a sometimes-hectic environment, the native land of his parents.  Eli Miletich is the author of The Matchbook and Other Cop Stories.


According to one reader of The Matchbook and Other Cop Stories, “In the world of law enforcement slang, veteran cops are referred to as old leather. Chief Miletich's stories of his 30 plus years as a cop creak with the realism of a well worn duty belt. Staged on the hilly streets of Duluth, Minnesota, Miletich's saga, double spaced like a criminal complaint, is a time capsule whose artifacts span three decades of police work in this northern city by the bay. From cops in black sedans meting out street justice to modern day forensics, politically correct weenies, and pissant prosecutors, Miletich's chronicle is a grimey window on the back wall of any precinct in America. Scraping away the soot and peering in one catches a reflection of themselves along with the poor boob under the interrogation lamp. It is indeed a troubling scene but worth the look.”


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