Edwardsville Police Maj. Jeff Mills with Woodland student Laura Slater. The two were selected to ride together in the parade's grand marshal vehicle.EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville Police Major Jeff Mills was selected as grand marshal of the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce Halloween Parade and he had the privilege of sharing the spotlight with a young Woodland Elementary student Laura Slater.

Mills said for him, it was a wonderful night.

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“Laura was so excited,” he said. “It was a Happy Halloween with her waving and having fun. I was honored to drive with her. I am very proud to be the marshal.”

Mills is also thankful to be a member of such a community-oriented police department in Edwardsville.

“We have great support from our community,” he said. “They are always out there for us and I believe they appreciate us, too.”

Maj. Mills said it takes all of the Edwardsville Police officers to work the Halloween Parade for crowd control and safety purposes.

“We want parents to be mindful of their children and our job is to help them,” he said about the parade. “Many of our officers are fathers and mothers themselves. Our officers who have little children are assigned a post near their families.”

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Mills said Halloween is traditionally a time for family in the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon area.

Mills said he has been proud of how the public has responded in the wake of the death of St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder, originally from Godfrey. Snyder and his wife and child lived in Edwardsville at the time of his death.

“Any time an officer gets killed in the line of duty anywhere in the country, it has an affect on other officers,” he said. “We hope that every day we are all going home. With Officer Snyder, that didn’t happen. The region has been fantastic to his family. I hope they keep up that community support.”

Maj. Mills, who has served as an Edwardsville Police officer for 25 years, is grateful for the opportunities that his city has given his family.

“It has been fantastic being an officer in Edwardsville all these years,” he said. “My wife and I have been residents and raised our kids here. I love working for the city and coming to work each day. Edwardsville is a great community.”

Jeff’s wife, Amy Mills, had some touching things to say about how proud she was of her husband, the grand marshal. She views him as much more than a police officer and the marshal:

“We think he’s a pretty great guy,” she said speaking for her family. “I am grateful and thankful for this man. He is a good man and is very kind, among many other things.” Laura Slater with Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce Halloween Parade grand marshal Jeff Mills. (Photo by Dan Brannan)

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If you have a news, human interest or sports idea, e-mail [email protected] or call or text 618-623-5930. Follow Dan Brannan on Facebook and on Twitter.

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