Miller launches bid for Bedford County sheriff

Capt. Mike Miller announces his candidacy for Bedford County sheriff on Jan. 10. Miller has served in the Bedford County Sheriff's Office for 34 years. 

Surrounded by family members and supporters, Capt. Mike Miller, of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, announced Thursday his decision to run for Bedford County sheriff. Miller’s announcement comes less than a week after Mike Brown, the current sheriff, stated he will retire at the end of the year.

Miller is a native of Bedford County and has served in the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office for 34 years. During that time he has held numerous positions, including jailer, road deputy and VICE officer. Miller has served as Bedford County’s first school resource officer and worked as an administrative captain whose duties included managing the department’s budget. Most recently, he has served as the divisional supervisor, where he oversees the daily functions of multiple units in the department.

As sheriff, Miller said he plans to develop a five-year plan “that will not raise taxes.” Through the plan, Miller aims to address deputy pay while maintaining low crime rates and high clearance rates. Miller said he also will strive to allocate resources to maintain “excellence in service” and to hold regular meetings with county leaders and the community.

According to Miller, citizens need a sheriff who understands the culture of the department as well as one who can develop trust in the community while having the experience to lead others.

“I fully understand the sheriff is only as good as the men and women working with him to fulfill those obligations we are each sworn to uphold,” Miller said.

Brown has served as Bedford County sheriff for 24 years. Miller said he is grateful for Brown’s friendship and service to the community.

Supporters who attended Miller’s announcement included former members of the Bedford County Board of Supervisors, Chuck Neudorfer and Roger Cheek, as well as Major Ricky Gardner, of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office.

Miller called Gardner a mentor and said he is honored to have Gardner “in my corner.”

Lynchburg Circuit Court Clerk Eugene Wingfield, who is a retired Lynchburg police officer, said it’s important that the safety of Bedford County residents be entrusted to a person who will continue to do as great of a job as Brown and former Bedford County Sheriff Carl Wells.

Campbell County Sheriff Steve Hutcherson said he has worked closely with Miller through the years, “and I don’t think you can find anyone more capable than Mike.”

According to Ronnie Laughlin, who retired from the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, Miller is one of the few people who understands one of the most important aspects of the Sheriff’s Office: the budgetary process.

“Hutcherson and the supervisors here know that you must be able to manage your budget,” Laughlin said. “ … Mike knows how to manage a budget.”

In addition to his law enforcement duties, Miller serves as the pastor of Calvary United Methodist Church in Gladys. In a question-and-answer period, Miller said he intends to run as a Republican.

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