An officer was shot in the small town of Jerseyville while answering a burglary call on June 13. Immediately, the whole town pulled together painting the town blue by tying ribbons on posts, and hanging signs on poles and in their windows in support of the injured officer. Everywhere in town, continued support for local law enforcement
On Father’s Day, June 18, Officer Miller returned home to his community, where he could be with his family to finish recovering. Once again, Jerseyville pulled together – this time to give him a hero’s welcome.
Lewis and Clark Community College student Sally Arbuthnot, who also works as a Correctional Officer at the Jersey County Sheriff’s Office, said, “What happened to Officer Miller was absolutely heartbreaking. Every time I’ve come in contact with him he’s always been so respectful and all-around a great officer. The community did a great job of coming together as a whole and showing all the love and support. We were told at the Sheriff’s office that Miller was in good spirits and positive about everything. He is a true hero.”
Arbuthnot continued saying, “I was actually working at the time of the escort, but myself and fellow officers stepped outside because this was something we couldn’t miss. It just gave me goosebumps and chills, while watching the escort. Everyone at the Sheriff’s Office is happy that Officer Miller is well and back home to his family.”
When asked how she felt that day, L&C student Audrey Parsell said, “Welcoming home Officer Nathan Miller was not only a phenomenal and heart warming experience, but also showcases how our communities come together in support of our officers.”
Parsell continued: “A little boy from my church, Mason Neunaber, even had a lemonade and donut stand to raise money for Officer Miller’s family expenses. It wasn’t just Jersey County that came out and lined up the streets in Jerseyville, people from came out from Bethalto, Alton, Wood River, and other parts of Madison County to welcome him on his drive home. Coming from a family with law enforcement members, it just made me so proud to see all the support and love that went to Officer Miller and his family, and I know we all wish him a speedy recovery.”
The day started out with a Facebook Event created just a couple days prior, to prepare for the Welcome Home of Officer Miller. About noon it was posted to the event to alert the rest of the community that he would be home sometime that day. Shortly after, they posted an estimated time. With only a few hours notice, the community joined together along Highway 67 to welcome their hero home. Many made signs and banners welcoming the officer home as he got a full police escort back to his Jerseyville home. Watching for updates on a time, the community waited in anticipation. About 4:00 p.m., they finally got to Jerseyville where their community awaited them with open arms. Officer Miller was greeted with an applauding community thanking him for his services.
To see video footage from the Homecoming of Officer Miller, check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thelcbridge/