Onslow County Sheriff reflects on work done, not seeking re-election, what’s left before he leaves

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Onslow County’s Sheriff Hans Miller is not seeking re-election after serving the community for many years.

The sheriff told 9OYS he has no regrets for any decisions he’s made during his time in office. Miller has been commander of the agency since December 2014. He retired after years as Albert J. Ellis’ police chief to focus on his campaign.

“There were other things that needed to be changed our agency needed to brought in to the 21st century,” said Miller.

During his time in office, the sheriff has been able to add patrol zones 24/7, reduce response time to calls and launch a driving while impaired task force. Some other accomplishments include setting up a substation in Sneads Ferry, taking drug dealers off the streets and launching a Citizen’s Law Enforcement Academy.

His team was in charge of the Mariah Woods case, the three-year-old found dead in a creek in Pender County in 2017 after she was reported missing. The boyfriend of Woods’ mother was arrested and charged in her murder. It’s a case that lives with Miller to this day.

Miller said his decision to not seek office again was made last year. He said he has accomplished his goal to modernize the agency.

“I think the vision that I had at the beginning, I think, I accomplished what I set out to do,” said Miller.

Miller’s term is up late next year, but he said there’s still work left to be done. Among those things is to get the agency body cameras.

“Some people make allegations against law enforcement but a camera doesn’t lie,” said Miller.

Filing for a chance to become Onslow County’s next sheriff is scheduled to start in January. Col. Chris Thomas, who works at the sheriff’s office, has already announced he will run for sheriff.

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