Florence, South Carolina – A police officer in Lake City is currently on suspension without salary while an investigation is ongoing, following his wife’s arrest related to firearms and drugs.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is looking into claims of misuse of power and potential weapons and drug offenses linked to Alisa Miles and her husband, Major Patrick Miles. This investigation started after Florence police requested SLED’s involvement post Alisa’s arrest on Tuesday.
Lake City authorities confirmed on Friday morning that Patrick Miles is now on an unpaid leave until the SLED investigation concludes. A report obtained by News13 from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy indicated that he has been suspended without pay. Up until Friday morning, Patrick Miles has not faced any formal charges.
Early on Tuesday, Florence police detained Alisa Miles. They responded to a call about a suspicious person on Melrose Avenue, where she was found with a handgun without a permit, along with drug tools and what seemed to be methamphetamine.
Online records from the Florence County Detention Center show that Alisa Miles faces charges for illegal pistol possession and meth production and distribution. She entered the jail early Tuesday and was released that day after posting bail totaling $2,220.
Patrick Miles has worked for the Lake City Police Department since 2006, as state Criminal Justice Academy records show. As of Friday, he was still listed on the city’s website staff directory.
On Friday, the city announced they are fully assisting SLED with the ongoing investigation.
“Though command staff is in place to run the day-to-day operations, city administration is currently reviewing applications to fill the position of police chief,” Lake City officials said in the news release. “The city is working with local officials to aid and oversee the police department in the meantime.”
Since October, Lake City has been without a police chief after Jody Cooper departed the department for a second time. He left without an official resignation letter and received a severance package totaling almost $23,000 in salary and $2,500 in unused leave benefits.
According to documents obtained by News13 under the Freedom of Information Act, Cooper cannot be re-employed by the city in any role and is bound by a confidentiality agreement.
His earlier departure from the department occurred in 2016, but the reasons were not made public.
Cooper returned as police chief in 2021 and later became deputy city administrator in July 2022. A Lake City native, he first served as police chief from 2014 to 2016 and worked in the department from 2006 to 2013, and in earlier years as well.