What to Know
- Leonard Miles says he’s tired of trying to prove he’s a real cop after prosecutors in two NJ counties have charged him
- “No one will believe me,” he said in an exclusive interview with the I-Team. “The charges against me are trumped up. They’re bogus."
- Miles showed the I-Team his OMH badge, several photos of him in his OMH uniform and his Spring Valley court officer’s uniform
“They had me looking like a crazy person, and I’m not.”
Leonard Miles says he’s tired of trying to prove he’s a real cop. Prosecutors in two New Jersey counties have charged the 47-year-old with impersonating a police officer and illegal weapons possession.
The charges stem from an incident in Paterson in June of 2018. Miles was arrested in his car in his driveway with a loaded gun, after cops received an anonymous call about a man waving a gun, according to the police report. He had a Spring Valley court officer’s badge in his wallet. Miles maintains he was employed by the Village of Spring Valley and licensed to carry a gun at the time and also working as an officer for the NYS Office of Mental Health police, which patrols Rockland Psychiatric Center.
“No one will believe me,” he said in an exclusive interview with the I-Team. “The charges against me are trumped up. They’re bogus. I have two badges. I have two jobs.”
Miles showed the I-Team his OMH badge, several photos of him in his OMH uniform and his Spring Valley court officer’s uniform. He says his Spring Valley badge and licensed gun were confiscated by Paterson police.
In March of this year, Miles and a female companion riding in a car were stopped by an officer in Wycoff, Bergen County, and let go. Police dashcam video shows Miles acting cordial and not suspicious. He said he worked for OMH police. Four days later, Miles says a squad of officers arrested him near his family’s home in Spring Valley. “They had me listed as a fugitive and I didn’t even have a traffic ticket.”
Miles has been in and out of courthouses for months trying to prove he is legit. Even his new attorney admits being skeptical at first.
“The first thing I said to him was either you’re crazy or you’re right,” said Khari Moore.
Moore began issuing subpoenas for Miles’ personnel records.
“Everything he said turned out to be true. I cannot explain why they won’t accept the fact Leonard Miles is a law enforcement officer,” he said.
In late July, OMH sent a letter to Moore stating that Miles was first employed as a safety and security officer in 2003 and went out on sick leave six weeks before his arrest. He was subsequently suspended without pay.
Spring Valley set a letter saying there is nothing to indicate Miles was ever terminated by the Village.
A spokesman for Spring Valley declined to comment because of potential litigation. Both the Passaic County and Bergen County Prosecutor’s offices also declined comment.
New Jersey State law prohibits off-duty officers from another state from carrying a concealed firearm, but Miles is vowing to fight that too.
“Federal law allows me to carry my gun,” he said. “My guns are my tools, just like a plumber has his,” he added.