KEARNEY — Buffalo County Sheriff Neil Miller has received a national award for his leadership and contributions to the advancement of public safety broadband communications across the state.

Miller was acknowledged earlier this week with the Chief Harlin R. McEwen Public Safety Broadband Communications Award in Hollywood, Fla. The award is the First Responder Network (FirstNet) Authority’s sole award given annually to a public safety representative who has contributed to the advancement of public safety broadband communications.

Miller has been sheriff in Buffalo County since 1990 and has been recognized by the Nebraska Sheriff’s Association as officer of the year in 1989 and 2007.

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“Sheriff Miller epitomizes the spirit of the McEwen Award because he has advocated not just for improvements in his own jurisdiction but takes the time to help other rural cities and counties throughout Nebraska,” said Edward Horowitz, chair of FirstNet Authority Board Chair in a press release.

In 1997, Miller implemented mobile data in his department that allows officers to create e-citations and report writing from patrol vehicles. In 2014, he launched Text-to-911, an innovative service that gives Buffalo County residents the ability to send a text message to reach 911 emergency call takers from their mobile devices.

Miller also spearheaded the combined radio communications system for law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, connecting state resources for the safety and well-being of Nebraskans.

“It is an exciting time to be involved in public safety wireless broadband for our first responders,” said Miller in a press release. “With priority, pre-emption and the services that FirstNet will provide to our first responders, it will greatly enhance the safety and security of the people and communities that we serve.”

Miller has held numerous leadership positions, including president of the Nebraska Chapter of Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials and the National Emergency Number Association, active member of the Wireless Advisory Board, Service System Advisory Committee and co-chair of the Nebraska Public Safety Broadband Working Group, where he was instrumental to bringing FirstNet to Nebraska.