With a year of my first term completed, I remain grateful for the opportunity to serve you as your Mason County Sheriff. Even though 2021 came with many challenges, I am extremely proud of the work accomplished by the Sheriff’s Office. I want our citizens to know that I take crime in our county very seriously, as do our deputies. Over the months of October and November in 2021, the Mason County Sheriff’s Office led investigations on two homicides and two armed robberies. I am extremely proud to say that arrests were made on all four events. Our officers worked long and tedious hours to ensure a thorough investigation was conducted leading to charges and arrests for all four crimes. Let it be known that the Mason County Sheriff’s Office will work hard to bring criminals to justice, to protect the citizens of this county and to help all in need. Transparency and open communication are key to holding ourselves accountable to our commitment of safety for our citizens. For that reason, I share with you our 2021 Mason County Sheriff’s Office year-in-review which helps to highlight some of the work we have accomplished.
Enhancing Overall Safety
Our deputies cover hundreds of miles of road throughout the county. It has been our goal to increase officer visibility without putting response times at risk. In addition, our home confinement officers assisted with a high volume of mental hygiene calls and out-of-town transfers to the Western Regional Jail in 2021. I am extremely proud of the work and dedication I see every day from the team. Although 2021 brought about staffing shortages, COVID illnesses and other challenges, enhancing your safety continued to be a top priority. Accomplishments include:
• Continued mutual aid agreements between the Sheriff’s Office and local city and nearby county law enforcement offices to enhance interagency coordination;
• Completed over 4,100 officer contacts (includes 911 dispatch calls and officer-initiated contacts);
• Engaged WV State Police, WV State Police Crime Scene Unit, US Marshals Service, and neighboring county sheriff’s departments to aid in staff and resources when needed;
• Coordinated and provided county fair coverage resulting in a safe experience for all fair goers.
Reducing Illicit Drug Use and Drug-related Crime
Mason County is not immune to the drug epidemic which plagues our country. We are all affected by the drug epidemic in one way or another – family, friends, neighbors, and victims of drug crimes all feel the effects from illicit drug use. As your Sheriff, I am committed to putting a dent in drug sales and the secondary crime that follows. I am also committed to helping folks get clean and take every opportunity I can to help those who come across my path. Some of this work includes:
• Executed over 20 related search warrants in 2021 which resulted in the seizure of narcotic drugs and drug asset forfeitures;
• Participated in the 2021 Drug Takeback Day;
• Dedicated officer time to establish an undercover narcotics investigation team;
• Collaboration with local treatment facilities.
Supporting County Youth
As a father of two, the safety of our county youth is extremely important to me. Any opportunity to improve the path of a young person’s life is a priority. Some of the toughest, yet most rewarding work has been working directly with teenagers in our county.
• Conducted drug sweeps (with K9 officers) throughout Mason County high schools during the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 calendar school years;
• Ensured bus route safety to include ramping up officer coverage on the old two-lane route of 35 to deter drivers from passing buses while stopped on their routes picking up and dropping off children;
• Engaged in several one-on-one conversations with youth regarding their future by parent request.
Through COVID funds, we were able to make the much-needed operational investments for our department. With the support of the Mason County Magistrates, we were able to make the following upgrades:
• Purchase of 7 new cruisers, allowing us to replace older vehicles, some with over 300,000 miles and decreasing budget costs for vehicle repairs;
• New duty sidearms and uniform upgrades which increase functionality at a lesser cost;
• Upgraded department cruisers and deputies with new mobile radios improving overall communication;
• Hired 2 new officers who are military veterans still serving their country as deputies.
For the year of 2022 and future years to come, I promise to continue to put in the hard work that it takes to ensure our safety.
God bless and Happy New Year,
Corey J. Miller
Mason County Sheriff