Regional representative for Governor Jim Justice Lynn Phillips presents a special award to Upshur County Sheriff Virgil Miller, recognizing Miller as the Mountain State's longest-serving sheriff. (My Buckhannon file photo by Monica Zalaznik)

Upshur County’s sheriff receives accolades for being longest-serving sheriff in W.Va.

BUCKHANNON – Upshur County’s top law enforcement officer received kudos from the governor’s office for being the longest-serving sheriff in the Mountain State.

Regional representative for Governor Jim Justice Lynn Phillips and the Upshur County Commission planned a surprise award presentation for Sheriff Virgil Miller at the commission’s Oct. 14 meeting.

“Sheriff Miller has been a very good public servant to our country with his military service, and we appreciate Sheriff Miller for serving our country, the State of West Virginia and most of all, Upshur County,” Phillips said. “Thank you for the public service commitment you’ve made over the many, many years, and the great job you’ve done within law enforcement.”

He outlined Miller’s service throughout the years, starting with his service as a military police officer in 1974.

“Then he came back and served over in Webster County as a deputy sheriff for three years, then he came to Upshur County in 1980 [and served until] 1989 as a sheriff’s deputy,” Phillips said. “And then you became Sheriff of Upshur County in 1989 [and served until] 1996, and that was two terms, and then he served as magistrate for Upshur County and then he moved to the chief of police of the City of Buckhannon.”

Miller came back to Upshur County and was elected sheriff for another two four-year terms, serving as sheriff from 2005 to 2012.

“That’s when I started to visit him on a regular basis, and I would just like to say thank you for being receptive to my visits, and I thank you for being a good friend to me and helping me along the way with anything I needed; if I needed anything with the governor’s office, Virgil was always there to help me and I really appreciate that and all the governors who I’ve worked for appreciate that,” Phillips said.

After that, Miller served two terms as a sheriff’s deputy in Lewis County.

“Then he came back, and now he has run for his fifth term of Sheriff of Upshur County and has been successfully elected for another four years and we hope to get another four years after this,” Phillips said.

Phillips read a recognition from Governor Jim Justice, which stated: “Be it known that Sheriff Virgil Miller has been awarded this certificate of recognition for being the longest serving sheriff in the great State of West Virginia. As Governor, I commend you for your years of dedicated service and wish you the best of all, in the future to come.”

Miller thanked Phillips for the recognition and all of his colleagues for supporting him throughout the years.

“I couldn’t be a good sheriff without my colleagues; you can’t be a good sheriff without good people,” Miller said. “I’ve had good people over the years and a great county commission.”

Local governmental officials, Upshur County sheriff’s deputies, and family and friends pose for a photo at a surprise recognition ceremony for Upshur County Sheriff Virgil Miller Thursday at the commission’s regular meeting.

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