The Retirement of Winchester City Sheriff Lenny Millhollandby Former Representative Frank R. Wolf
Posted on 2014-01-08
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and honor Winchester
City Sheriff Lenny Millholland who retired on December 31, 2013.
Sheriff Millholland has served the city of Winchester since 1979. He began his career in law enforcement in Cumberland, Maryland, where he worked for two years in the sheriff's [[Page E19]] office before accepting a position with the Winchester Police Department. After reaching the rank of lieutenant, he ran for city sheriff taking office in 2002--a particularly challenging time in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
A graduate of the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy, the Maryland State Police K9 Academy, FBI National Academy Session 188, and the National Sheriff's Institute in Longmont, Colorado, his record of law enforcement training is impressive. Additionally, over the course of his term as sheriff, he was appointed to several committees and boards that serve law enforcement and local non-profit organizations. He is also a past president of the Virginia Sheriff's Institute, which trains sheriffs in Virginia, and was recently honored by the Horseshoe Curve Benevolent Association for his outstanding service to the community.
I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Lenny many times over the years. He has been a committed public servant to the Shenandoah Valley and I wish him all the best in his retirement.
I submit the following Winchester Star article on Sheriff Millholland's exceptional career of service to the Winchester community.
[From the Winchester Star, Dec. 30, 2013] Retiring Sheriff Ready To Relax, See What Comes (By Melissa Boughton) Winchester, VA.--Lenny Milholland has one more day on the job as city sheriff, then he plans to lie low and see what the future holds.
``I just want to see if I like retirement first,'' he said Friday when asked what was next for the veteran law enforcement officer.
The 56-year-old Democrat announced in April that he would not seek a fourth term as Winchester city sheriff. He officially leaves his post Tuesday.
Taking over the position is Republican Les Taylor, who defeated Democrat Leonard Bauserman in the Nov. 5 election. His first day on the job is Wednesday.
``It's been a good ride, it truly has,'' said Millholland, who has served as city sheriff since 2002. ``And my people have been the best.'' He has no shortage of compliments for his staff and those who work in the Joint Judicial Center at 5 N. Kent St.
In fact, Millholland said, if he had one piece of advice for his successor, it would be to treat the employees at the courthouse right, especially the Winchester Sheriff's Office deputies.
``They are an extension of you,'' he said.
The city sheriff's office is responsible for security at the Joint Judicial Center and warrant service within the city, among myriad other duties.
Never without a smile, Millholland has been a fixture in local law enforcement since 1979, when he joined the Winchester Police Department as a patrol officer.
On Friday, he sat back in his chair and reminisced about applying for the job. ``I opened up the Cumberland (Md.) Times and it said `police officer wanted.' '' He got the job, and the rest is history.
Millholland's law enforcement career began in Cumberland, Md., where he worked for two years in the Sheriff's Office.
In Winchester, he was a patrol officer until May 1988, when he and his canine were stabbed with a Samurai sword while responding to an incident on Cameron Street. The dog, Apollo, eventually had to be put down, and Millholland's injuries required dozens of stitches.
Millholland returned to work the next day but moved to the Criminal Investigations Division, where he stayed until 1998, when he attended the FBI Academy.
Two promotions later, Millholland, then a lieutenant, decided to run for city sheriff.
``I was involved in a department shooting and it affected the way that I looked at a lot of things,'' he said.
Millholland took office as city sheriff in 2002 and got right to work.
``It was right after 9/11, so you had a whole different way people viewed security,'' he said. ``We didn't have metal detectors, we didn't have X-ray machines--if you wanted to come into [the courthouse], you just came in.'' Millholland made the security at the Joint Judicial Center what it is today, with X-ray machines, metal detectors and wands for deputies to search people when necessary.
``I think my biggest goal was to make sure that nothing happened at the courthouse under my watch,'' he said. ``And I've got three more days to make sure that comes to fruition.'' He added that another major goal he had when he took office was to treat everyone he worked with well.
``It's all about the people you meet along the way,'' Millholland said.
His most memorable moments on the job were when ``his guys'' received rewards and accolades for their work, he said.
``It's a great office, it's a great group of people,'' Millholland said, adding that he hopes the office will keep progressing under the new leadership.
Millholland said a lot of people have asked him about his plans for the future, but a recent medical issue has made everything uncertain.
Though he didn't elaborate, his doctor told him he was ``pretty lucky.'' ``It makes you wonder how short life can be,'' Millholland said.
He added that many of the people he used to have dealings with, including former Winchester Circuit Court Clerk Mike Foreman, have died, and that he realizes he could have been one of them.
``[Mike Foreman, before he died,] told me to get out while I could still remember why I wanted out, and while I could still do something else.'' Known for his jovial, larger-than-life personality and enthusiastic community involvement, Millholland smiled when asked if he plans to take a post-retirement vacation.
``Me and Santa Claus are probably going to go find someplace warm and stay there for a while,'' he joked.