Miller, a Romney native, has been the assistant prosecutor for about 3 and a half years. After winning the election in November, she’s making her way up the food chain.
“It’s really hard not to say ‘assistant,’” Miller said with a laugh. “I started (as assistant prosecutor) in May 2017 until just this past December. So, I was making a phone call the other day and I had to stop and think.”
When she was being sworn in, Judge Charlie Carl pointed out that Miller is the 1st female prosecutor from Hampshire County.
“It’s a lot of firsts,” he said. “She’s worked hard to get to this position. It’s nice to see one of our own be successful, and we’re really proud of her.”
That work ethic that Judge Carl mentioned is evident when Miller talks about her goals for the position. She said she’s “super excited” to get back into working with felony court, something that she delved a little bit into this past term, but she’s rearing to get back into it fully.
One of the biggest challenges Miller is facing with her new position is the backlog.
“If you think about it, we missed a term last year, so there is that backlog that needs to be processed,” Miller explained. “And, since Covid numbers were up, we weren’t able to have January, and I’m hoping we can get that term scheduled as soon as is practical. We can do as much as we can do.”
Covid has certainly put a damper and a delay on most everything these days, but Miller is thinking optimistically about her goal.
“The goal this year is to get through the cases we have and try to move forward and not have that backlog,” she said. “I want to get current again.”
During her campaign, Miller really stressed her passion about dealing with abuse and neglect cases in Hampshire County. With the kids learning from home, referral numbers are down across the state, but Hampshire is seeing the opposite. Referral numbers are up here, and Miller said that department was “overloaded” last year.
“There’s so much crime that happens in Hampshire County,” she said. “Hampshire had referrals all the time. At least we had the public sending referrals to make sure the children are safe. We do have a great bunch of citizens reporting it. It’s amazing.”
Miller even brought back a familiar face to handle the abuse, neglect and juvenile cases in Hampshire: Charlie Johnson III, who started in the position earlier this month.
While Covid provides a major hurdle for Miller in her quest to thin out the county’s backlog, she has a couple of other things to tackle as well.
Organization, for one. She said she wants to get her office on 1 database, with the calendar, the contacts and other information in a centralized location.
One of the qualities that Miller brings to the position is probably her biggest strength: her ability to be hands-on with local law enforcement and her availability.
“I’m available 24/7 to the officers, and they know that, so (I’m) getting back into that and being able to help when asked and when needed,” she explained.
While she’s working on settling into her groove, there is 1 thing Miller is certain about: the importance of teamwork within her office and with the community.
“It is my office, but we have to work together. That’s the big thing,” she pointed out. “We’re all here for a common goal of finding the crime in Hampshire County that’s off the charts. I think it’s going to be a good year, and a good next 4 years, and I’m looking forward to it.”