SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — Trooper Brandon Miller has been named as the 2019 Ohio State Highway Patrolman of the Year for the Ashtabula Post.
Miller, 40, has served as a state trooper since 2011 and he lives in Trumbull County with his wife of 19 years, Christina, and their five children.
Fellow troopers at the Ashtabula post nominated Miller based on his leadership abilities, professional ethics, courteous treatment of others, enthusiastic work attitude and cooperation with supervisors, peers and the public, according to a news release.
Sgt. Larry Jones said Miller is a leader among his peers.
“Brandon is a hard worker dedicated to the citizens of Ohio and he’s very committed in all his actions,” Jones said. “He’s a great example of what it means to be a state trooper.”
Miller, who served in security forces for four years with the U.S. Air Force, worked at Kraftmaid Cabinetry for eight years prior to starting his law enforcement career. He currently serves as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Miller said he decided on a career with the state patrol because he wanted more job security as opposed to remaining in the cabinet industry, which is tied to economic conditions.
“A Kraftmaid career is based on the economy,” Miller said. “When the economy started to go bad a few years back I started on the state trooper path.”
Miller said his time at Kraftmaid has helped him identify with the working-class people he has interactions with on the road. Life experience prior to his service has helped shape his approach to the job, he said.
Miller said while people never like getting speeding or seatbelt tickets, he knows there is an importance to handing out those tickets. The general public doesn’t often see the aftermath of serious or fatal crashes where people were speeding or not wearing seat belts, he said.
What Miller said he enjoys most about being a state trooper is “helping people.”
“The positive contact I can have with people is a benefit,” Miller said. “A lot of times I have people in the back of my car in handcuffs who are thankful of how polite I was and how I treated them. That’s what it’s all about — doing our job and positively affecting the people we come across.”