It’s official: CBS' Miller to NYPD counterterrorism

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John Miller. (AP Photo/CBS, Heather Wines)
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Alex Weprin

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CBS News correspondent John Miller has made it official: he is re-joining the NYPD in a high-level counterterrorism role. Miller announced the move on WCBS shortly after 5:30 p.m.

"If you take the L.A. experience, we had a pretty effective shop there, I think if you look at the New York experience they have, certainly it is the most complex and forward-leaning counterterrorism operation of any police department in the world, so it will be a great challenge that I will have to rise to," Miller said

For CBS News, the loss of Miller hits hard, with staffers calling it “devastating,” and “ huge loss.” As we reported earlier this month, he delivered a slew of scoops for the network, including interviews and access no other reporter could ever see. That access was driven in part by his extensive law enforcement background, which includes the NYPD, LAPD and stints at the FBI and in the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

"We have a lot of regard for John, we don’t like to lose him, but if it is to public service, and law enforcement, that he cares about, we don’t feel it is right to stand in his way," CBS News president David Rhodes told Capital Thursday afternoon. "He knows that if and when he wants to return to journalism, we are going to welcome him back."

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In fact, Miller will be back in January, Rhodes says.

"We do plan to have him on CBS This Morning as an NYPD official in what I think will be his first week on the job which is Jan. 6," Rhodes says. "He will be 'John Miller, NYPD,' and we will be transparent with the audience with what his role is. John is going to be I’m sure a guest with us, he will be someone who we cover, and he is going to be a public figure. So you will probably continue to see him on CBS, just in a different capacity and I’m sure not quite as much."

Miller's law enforcement past was pushed to the spotlight this month after he filed a report for “60 Minutes” about the NSA, which was widely regarded as being friendly to the federal agency, which has been under fire since details on its surveillance programs were leaked by Edward Snowden. The segment only happened because of Miller’s connections, and it did feature access deeper than other TV programs that covered the NSA.

It is not clear whether Miller knew he would be reentering the public sphere in a counterterrorism/intelligence capacity when the “60 Minutes” report was filed.

At the NYPD, Miller will once again be working with his friend and mentor Bill Bratton, who becomes NYPD commissioner in the new year. Bratton previously hired Miller at the NYPD in the mid-90s, where the reporter led the police force’s press office, and at the LAPD in the mid-2000s, where he led its counterterrorism and intelligence unit.