Ryan Miller has officially announced he is running as an independent candidate for St. Francois County sheriff.
“Whenever I first got into law enforcement, it’s something that I quickly developed a passion for,” he said. “I really enjoyed being able interact with my community directly and help people in that time of need, especially when it came to people suffering from different crises like mental illnesses or things of that nature.
"I took a lot of pride in that. I wanted to take that a step further, because I’ve seen the need in our county, it’s just huge.”
Miller, 32, of Farmington is a native of St. Francois County. He is a graduate of Farmington High School and attended the Mineral Area College Law Enforcement Academy, graduating as valedictorian in 2010.
“Since entering the career field of law enforcement I have developed a passion for serving people and being the professional that people call on for help,” he said. “I saw first-hand the needs of so many in our community and I worked hard to meet those needs with the skills and resources available to me.”
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Miller's law enforcement career began in Ste. Genevieve County where he gained experience as a jailer. He then came home to Farmington as a patrol officer and crisis intervention officer. Miller currently serves as an investigator for the St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Miller says his intent is to change the course of the sheriff's office. He plans to make it a competitive and attractive agency to work for, to provide professional and efficient police services, and to adopt best practices and procedures so that the St. Francois County Sheriff's Office will be the professional model other agencies look to as an example. Modeling the sheriff’s department similar to the successes of the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department is plan that Miller advocates.
“I think that reevaluating the entire structure of it is in order, just taking a real hard look on how we’ve been operating it,” he said. “When I worked at Ste. Genevieve County … I really got to see internally how a jail worked. [Sheriff Gary Stolzer] has been very successful as a sheriff in running that jail. He turns a profit every year, which is unheard of with a jail. I think a lot of those practices, we need to be looking for better ways to do things.
“There’s no reason to not advocate for better changes on behalf of our citizens, to better spend their tax dollars, but also to avoid some of the controversy and liability of keeping people in custody. In the past year there’s been some controversy about the jail. I’m not saying that it’s any one person’s fault.
"We could Monday morning quarterback all we want, but I think there are a lot of things we could change as far as policies, procedures and the way we do business that could better protect our deputies, the county and our inmates.”
Miller was voted Officer of the Year in 2015 and Crisis Intervention Team Officer of the Year in 2016. Miller continues to serve on the Mineral Area Crisis Intervention Council for this area as a representative of the St. Francois County Prosecutor's Office.
Miller can be contacted on his Facebook page Ryan Miller for SFC Sheriff (@miller4sheriff) or visit www.miller4sheriff.com.
Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at email@example.com