Veteran prosecutor Tracy Miller doubles as interview coach, speech writer for officers


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As a prosecutor for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for the past 19 years, Tracy Miller has accumulated quite a list of accomplishments.

She recently put that passion to work as an interview coach and speech writer for police officers, providing her services through her part-time business, TM Consulting.

At the DA’s office, Miller formed and oversees the Orange County Gang Prevention Partnership (OC GRIP), the largest program of its kind in the U.S. The program brings together school districts, law enforcement professionals, faith-based groups, nonprofits, businesses and thousands of volunteers, all with the same goal: keeping kids out of gangs.

She is a veteran of more than 80 jury trials and has prosecuted cases involving sexual assault, domestic violence, gang carjacking, robbery and homicide.

Miller also prosecuted the first gang injunction case in Orange County.

She was awarded the 2010 Ambassador of Peace Award from a local community group, Medal of Valor from the Orange Police Department and the 2013 Orange County Department of Education’s Community Service Award.

Miller also has served as an adjunct professor at Chapman University.

Miller’s initiation into the field of law gave her a front-row seat, along with hands-on experience, in what has been called “The Trial of the Century.”

She served as an unpaid law clerk for prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden on the O.J. Simpson murder case.

Through regular interactions with police officers throughout her career, Miller realized she has the inherent ability, and the passion, to help officers cultivate their best character traits.

Miller recently sat down with Behind the Badge to discuss her new endeavor and the feeling of gratitude she gets from helping officers better themselves.

 Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Question: What motivated you to go into business as a consultant to police officers?

Answer: I’ve been doing it informally for years. I have a knack for figuring out what people’s greatest strengths are. Police officers often have a variety of skill sets. Sometimes they just need help communicating those skills. I love helping officers see the best in themselves and helping them communicate the best parts of themselves to others. Officers spend their careers fighting for others, so it’s wonderful to help them to learn to fight for themselves.

Q: How has your career as a prosecutor prepared you for your new role as a consultant to police officers?

A: As a prosecutor in trials and as a leader in the O.C. GRIP program, I’ve had to become an expert in giving presentations, interviewing people and teaching others to be interviewed.

Q: What is the most common mistake people make in interviews for jobs or promotions?

A: They try to be someone else. The other mistake people make is not spending the time and resources preparing for the interview.

Q: How does one turn his or her weaknesses into strengths?

A: So many people are afraid to talk about their weaknesses or struggles that they have overcome, either because they think they need to be perfect or they have shame from mistakes they’ve made. But nobody is perfect and interview panels or boards want applicants who don’t pretend to be perfect. The best internal candidates are those who admit their weaknesses or mistakes and focus on how they’ve changed and grown from them.

Q: Speaking of weaknesses, you got a D+ in criminal justice but you got hired by Christopher Darden for what was the highest-profile trial in history. How did that happen?

A: I was not nervous. I did not think I would get the job so I was more relaxed and more myself and I think that prompted him to hire me. One of the true joys I have is working with someone who gets nervous in interviews, so that by the time they have to give the interview, they are the best candidate because they are confident and prepared.