MEDINA — After two terms as Medina County sheriff, Tom Miller has decided to step aside.
Miller’s term will expire the first week of January.
“I’ve had people ask me to change my mind,” he said about not running for reelection.
As of now, he’ll stick with his decision.
The only known candidate for the position is Montville Township police Chief Terry Grice, who said he has pulled his petitions from the Medina County Board of Elections and gotten his background check. He has yet to turn in the required 50 signatures.
“We’ve been talking about (running),” Grice said. “I have talked to my wife (Cindy). My goal is to build on some of the programs Sheriff Miller implemented, and bring in some new ideas.”
Grice, 41, joined the Montville force in 1999 and became chief in 2011.
He said he’s “absolutely” ready for the challenge.
The Montville police force is very team-oriented, Grice said.
“My goal is to take some of these things to the county level,” he said.
Miller, 70, began his law enforcement career in 1974 as a patrolman for the Brunswick Police Department.
He served Brunswick police for 16 years before reaching the rank of lieutenant. Miller became an Ohio certified special education teacher, serving severe behavior handicapped children for five years in Brunswick Schools. He also aided Brunswick Schools by serving as a crisis prevention specialist.
Miller was also elected to Brunswick City Council from 1992-03 and served on the Brunswick Civil Service Commission from 2003-09.
He was elected sheriff on Nov. 6, 2012, and officially took office on Jan. 7, 2013.
Prior to that, he attained the position of chief deputy of the Medina County Sheriff’s Office in 1997.
He held that position until January 2007 when he accepted the position of director of protective services at MetroHealth System. He resigned to return as chief deputy in October 2011.
Miller directs a staff of 156 within the sheriff’s office.
He said there are a number of factors causing him to step away as sheriff, most notably the location of his six grandchildren.
“I’m ready to move on to the next phase of my life,” Miller said. “It’s really a personal decision, a change of lifestyle.”
He described his two terms as “interesting and challenging, as it is for anyone who takes this office,” he said. “I enjoy law enforcement. It will be an honor until the last day I do it.”
Miller was asked if the mysterious death of Bryon Macron, a Lafayette Township trustee, was the most challenging aspect of his tenure as sheriff.
He said he didn’t know if it was or not, but it was a difficult time for his entire office.
He said he notified the head of the Medina County Republican Party, Chuck Calvert, and the Medina County commissioners that he was stepping down. He said that would give anyone who is running plenty of time.
The sheriff said he’s not sure if anyone in-house would run. He said there would be some “competent” candidates working at the sheriff’s office, as well as some other police chiefs and law enforcement officers in Medina County.
Miller said being sheriff is time-consuming.
“Whenever you’re in a position like this, you’re expected to be available to that agency 24/7,” he said. “I did expect it.”
Miller said he doesn’t know what’s next in his life.
“I wouldn’t rule out anything,” he said, and that includes changing his mind about running for reelection.
Grice has already established his campaign committee. He plans on speaking with Calvert in the near future.
“I’ve been blessed to work in Montville,” he said. “It’s been absolutely fantastic.”
He said he’d miss working with his staff, the trustees and the fiscal officer if he’s elected. There are 22 employees, including part-timers, on the Montville force.
“I know the sheriff’s office is full of outstanding employees,” he said. “It will be difficult to leave Montville.”
He said he wants to work closely with the commissioners, if he’s elected.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Grice said.
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