Live Oak —
Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office Captain John Mills has retired after 21 years of service to the county. Friends, family and co-workers gathered on Friday for a cookout to show appreciation for his many years of service and dedication to the people. Guests enjoyed a delicious steak and baked potato and a big slice of cake for dessert.
“I was very humbled to see how many family and friends came out and to see what all they went through to do that for me. I really appreciate it,” Mills said. “It was a great career and I enjoyed my whole career,” he said.
Mills was born in Hollywood and came from a family of seven sisters.
“I was the only boy,” Mills said, laughing.
In 1972, the family decided to pack their bags and moved to Suwannee County, where they would establish their roots.
In 1977, Mills graduated from Suwannee High School and went on to attend Lake City Community College.
Mills married the love of his life, Cindy, in 1978 and they had two children, JD and Derek, who are both married and reside in Columbia County.
Mills got his start with the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office in 1993 and was hired by former Sheriff Robert Leonard as a deputy.
“While Leonard was sheriff, we didn’t have rankings until near the end of his career,” Mills said. “He promoted eight people to sergeant, and I was one of the eight.”
Under the leadership of former Sheriff Al Williams, Mills was promoted to lieutenant and later promoted again to captain. He remained captain with the sheriff’s office under the current administration of Sheriff Tony Cameron.
Mills walked into the office on Friday for the last time as captain with the SCSO. Jay Law and Glenn Jernigan, both long-time employees of the SCSO, will be responsible for the duties and responsibilities Mills maintained prior to retirement.
Cameron said Mills will truly be missed.
“John cannot be replaced. He’s one of those guys that went above and beyond the call of duty each and every day,” Cameron said. “While someone may take his place, no one will ever fill his shoes.”