Spotlight on Los Alamos: Mother inspires daughter’s choice to fight crime

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By Carol A. Clark

Det. Shari Mills of the Los Alamos Police Department has inspired her daughter, Paige Early, to enter the law enforcement field.

Early, 30, is a participant at the San Juan College Police Academy in Farmington and intends to return to the LAPD as a patrol officer following her graduation just before Christmas.

“My mom is absolutely my role model,” Early said during an interview from Farmington Monday. “I’ve thought of a career in criminal justice and watching what my mom has accomplished made me decide that I could do it also. I’m really interested in community policing and the juvenile system because I’m drawn to helping kids.”

Early also is completing her bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminology online from the University of Colorado at Pueblo.

“She gets straight As and is on the National Dean’s List,” Mills said of her daughter’s academic skills.

Early is the mother of three children ages, 9, 6 and 4. Her husband is in a recruiting squadron in the Air Force in Indianapolis and is moving to Los Alamos in September.

Mills, 51, spent 18 years as a dental assistant in Los Alamos before joining the police academy in 2002 at age 45.

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