A former Fort Valley police officer was arrested Friday for allegedly using his position in 2017 to get motor vehicle registration information for a person who was not under criminal investigation.
Vetrimyer “Vet” Miller, 45, of Warner Robins, was charged with unlawful possession of identification documents, a misdemeanor, according to a GBI news release.
In July 2017, Miller got the vehicle registration information while working with the Peach County Drug Unit, the release said.
"He unlawfully accessed the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Registration database for personal gain," the release said.
Miller voluntarily turned himself in to the Peach County Sheriff’s Office and was released on his own recognizance.
The GBI was asked to investigate by Fort Valley police, said Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese.
A veteran law enforcement officer, Miller was placed on administrative leave immediately when a complaint was made with Warner Robins police shortly after the incident, said Fort Valley Public Safety Director Lawrence Spurgeon.
Miller resigned at the end of the year after the GBI's findings were made known to law enforcement, Spurgeon said.
Spurgeon said he wasn't told why the arrest came months later. The GBI case file was reviewed by Houston County District Attorney George Hartwig before the charge was filed, Spurgeon said.
Miller also surrendered his Georgia Peace Officers and Training Council certificate which is required for him to be a police officer in Georgia, Deese said.
"We have to take an integrity class every three years, so, it's well documented that we have access to information that helps us do our jobs, but it can only be used for the purpose of law enforcement investigations," Deese said. "It can't be for personal reasons."
Neither Spurgeon nor Deese knew why Miller had accessed the vehicle information. J.T. Ricketson, special agent in charge of the Perry GBI office, declined to say.
"All I can just say is that he saw a vehicle, he ran a tag he wasn't supposed to because it wasn't part of a criminal investigation," Ricketson said.
Miller worked more than 15 years combined for Fort Valley police, having left to serve as an investigator for the Macon Judicial Circuit and then returning to Fort Valley police, Spurgeon said. Miller previously worked for the Perry Police Department.
"We are not above the law," Spurgeon said. "We have to be held accountable for our actions.
"We pray for him and his family. But in this profession, you have to have the highest ethical, moral standards, and no matter who it is, we're going to hold ourselves to that," he said.
An attempt to reach Miller was unsuccessful Friday evening, and his attorney could not be reached for comment.