John Miller carries a gun and a badge and rides in a patrol car equipped with lights and siren. He’s in charge of the LAPD’s counterterrorism efforts. But he’s not from Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Daily News notes. And he’s not a cop. Six months after Chief William Bratton appointed Miller to the $157,289-a-year post, his civilian status rankles some uniformed members of the police department, who quietly accuse him of simply playing at cops and robbers.
One high-ranking LAPD administrator said: “He’s a very nice person, and there are a lot of people who are trying to be open-minded. But there’s still tradition, there’s still dues to be paid, and he’s trying to be a police officer. It can be a little hard to take.”
Miller acknowledged that his appointment may have ruffled feathers in a department that has, as one expert put it, “a history of contempt for civilian oversight.” Miller oversees about 195 personnel assigned to the Anti-Terrorist and Emergency Services divisions, the bomb squad and the hazardous-materials unit. His job is to incorporate the functions of those units to prepare for and respond to potential terrorist activities.
As a journalist with ABC-TV’s “20-20,” Miller traveled to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, talked with officials there on terrorism, met with Osama bin Laden, and reported on al-Qaida long before the Sept. 11 attacks.