Cochran officer accused of misusing database

Police and city officials in Cochran are scheduled to meet today to discuss the employment of a Cochran police officer charged with criminal trespass and violating the rules and regulations associated with the Georgia Crime Information Center database.

Thurman Hathaway, 38, of Cochran, was arrested Wednesday following a GBI investigation, said Todd Lowery, assistant special agent in charge of the GBI’s Eastman office. Authorities say Hathaway is accused of calling in the tag number of a male friend of a former female friend for personal reasons and checking the number against the GCIC database.

Lowery said the database contains vehicle registration information, information about wanted individuals and other information used by law enforcement during criminal investigations.

It’s illegal to access the database without a legitimate law enforcement purpose, he said.

The criminal trespass charge is based on Hathaway calling in the tag number from the woman’s residence, Lowery said.

Bleckley County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Daniel Cape said the case was forwarded to the GBI after someone reported Hathaway’s actions by calling dispatchers.

Cochran Police Chief Jon Thrower said Hathaway was placed on leave without pay following his arrest. He described Hathaway as having a “lifelong” career in corrections and law enforcement. Hathaway has been a Cochran police officer for about three and a half years, Thrower said.

“We were shocked when this happened,” Thrower said. He’s always done a good job as a police officer.”

Hathaway was released on $5,100 bond Wednesday, Cape said.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.