By K. Michael Gaerte, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP
One of the Criminal Justice Section’s traditions is to present the annual Gil I. Berry Award to an individual within Indianapolis’ criminal court community. Winners are selected by nomination alone, with a focus on recognizing the “unsung” individuals who work in the criminal court system. While not explicit, past winners have been non-lawyers, including probation officers and court staff members. Working in criminal courts is a tough, intense and sometimes thankless job. The section’s goal of the Gil I. Berry Award is to spotlight an individual, who may not have received the recognition that he or she deserves.
This year’s winner is Marion County Sheriff Deputy John Miller. Deputy Miller worked as a court line deputy. He was responsible for transporting inmates to and from the jail, while ensuring the safety of a courtroom. He excelled in a demanding job by exuding professionalism, class and a pleasant disposition to anyone he contacted. He was a pleasure for all to deal with. His demeanor did not change whether he was involved with prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges, court staff and, perhaps most importantly, the inmates who he was tasked to monitor. Year after year, he was a ray of positivity in a challenging environment. Deputy Miller was always quick witted, and ready to laugh. While he took his job very seriously, and did so professionally, he allowed his humanity to shine through as well. Deputy Miller retired in early 2016. The City County Building went on, but it was just a little bit worse for the loss to our community. We wish Deputy Miller well in the next chapter of his life.
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