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Sheriff Neil A. Miller and background of plaque for the Chief Harlin R. McEwen Public Safety Broadband Communications Award

Buffalo County Sheriff Receives Prestigious Public Safety Broadband Communications Award

December 5, 2019
News Media Contact: Candice (202) 510-7505

Kearney, N.E., Dec. 5, 2019 – Sheriff Neil A. Miller of Buffalo County has been awarded the Chief Harlin R. McEwen Public Safety Broadband Communications Award  (McEwen Award) for his remarkable leadership and significant contributions to the advancement of public safety broadband communications across Nebraska.

Since Miller was first elected Sheriff in Buffalo County in 1990, he has helped to transform Nebraska’s public safety communications as a leader on advancing technology solutions to address the public safety needs of rural communities. In 1997, Sheriff Miller implemented mobile data in the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office, allowing 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. Sheriff 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.

The McEwen Award is the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet Authority) sole, prestigious award. The FirstNet Authority is an independent agency within the Department of Commerce. The organization’s mission is to develop, build and operate FirstNet, the nationwide public safety communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders.

Established in 2017, the McEwen Award recognizes the spirit of service, commitment, and dedication that is a proud tradition among public safety. The honor is given annually to a public safety representative who has contributed to the advancement of public safety broadband communications. It was established to honor Chief Harlin R. McEwen for his extraordinary expertise, experience, and leadership as the founding FirstNet Authority Public Safety Advisory Committee Chair.

“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 FirstNet Authority Board Chair Edward Horowitz. “Sheriff Miller has been unselfish in sharing his personal time and knowledge with all those who are interested in advancing FirstNet and the use of public safety broadband in Nebraska.”

Sheriff 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 (APCO/NENA), 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. The Nebraska Sheriff’s Association has twice recognized Sheriff Miller as Officer of the Year in 1989 and 2007. Sheriff Miller was also recognized as County Official of the Year in 2015, by the Nebraska Association of County Officials.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to receive the Chief Harlin McEwen Award,” said Sheriff Miller. “Harlin McEwen worked tirelessly to promote FirstNet from the very beginning knowing that something great would come out of this nationwide broadband wireless plan for public safety. I have had the privilege to work with a very dedicated team in establishing the FirstNet plan for Nebraska. It is an exciting time to be involved in public safety wireless broadband for our first responders.  With priority, preemption 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.”

The mission of the Buffalo County Sheriff's Department is to enhance the quality of life in our county by working cooperatively with the public and within the framework of the U.S. Constitution to enforce the law, preserve the peace, reduce fear and provide for a safe environment for all of our citizens.

About the First Responder Network Authority

The First Responder Network Authority is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Chartered in 2012, its mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. Learn more at and follow the FirstNet Authority (@FirstNetGov) on Facebook and Twitter for updates.


For more information, contact

Candice Appiakorang

First Responder Network Authority   

202- 510-7505

Brandon Brueggemann

Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office


Jeni Samuelson

Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office