Sheriff James Muller is pictured with his K9, Leggy. (Darryl Wheeler/Gettysburg Times)

Adams County Sheriff James Muller is not yet ready to hang up his uniform with the embroidered gold badge.

The 71-year-old announced Wednesday he is seeking another four-year term as the county's sheriff.

While Muller is entering his 12th year as sheriff, he's spent the last 20 years in the county office starting as a deputy.

"I love what I do," the Latimore Township resident said. "I feel like I can make a difference."

Muller, a Republican, has lived in Adams County for 60 years.

Right out of high school, Muller joined the United States Marine Corps. A Vietnam War combat veteran, he was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant after serving for six years. When Muller returned home, he got into building construction trades and eventually became the owner of a masonry company.

His passion for public service did not diminish. He continued to serve in various criminal justice positions prior to landing a job in the Adams County Sheriff's office.

The Adams County Sheriff's office handles arrest warrants, prisoner transports, courtroom security and vehicle code violations.

While the sheriff's staff can cross into any jurisdiction in the state, Muller said they lack investigative "powers," which is "the only difference" between other police departments and the sheriff's office.

During his time, the office has evolved through modernized technology, according to Muller. For example, he used to log information on index cards when he started as a deputy. Now, the office not only has computers, but also uses social media to post photos of those who are most wanted, according to Muller. The most wanted section has grown so much that Muller opted to use a digital billboard located along Route 94 in North Hanover to catch people's attention.

In his first term, Muller focused on improving communications among all law enforcement agencies, including the sheriff's office. Muller turned his attention to internal functions of the office during his second term, reorganizing staff and cutting costs, he said.

Muller also worked with state Rep. Dan Moul, R-91, to draft legislation allowing sheriffs' offices to extradite "deadbeat dads" who were arrested outside the state and bring them back to face contempt charges. The legislation provides for logging all domestic relations' warrants for failing to make payments into the National Crime Information Center, according to Muller.

At no cost to taxpayers, Muller said he purchased a former school bus to transport more prisoners as well as obtained a fully-trained Belgian Malinois dog funded through donations. The K-9 is used for bomb detection throughout the county, Muller said, noting that all equipment and healthcare of the canine is paid for by him.

The Adams County Sheriff's office is the only law enforcement agency besides Pennsylvania State Police to be accredited twice - the first time in 2013 and the second time this year. The agency was recognized last week through an official certificate of re-accreditation from the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission, "which shows the mark of excellence and professionalization," Muller said.

Muller is involved in the National Sheriff's Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Pennsylvania Sheriff's Association, Adams County Chiefs of Police Association, Adams County Law Enforcement Association, Green Springs Rod & Gun Club, McSherrystown Fish & Game, Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education of Pennsylvania, and the Forty & Eight. He is also a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Gettysburg Marine Corps League, National Rifle Association and the New Oxford Social and Athletic Club.

Muller's name will be listed on the Republican ballot in the primary election in May.

Vanessa has been a Times Staff Writer since 2014. She covers Adams County court, Adams County government, Gettysburg Area School District and the National Park Service.

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