By Todd Quinones, Crystal Cranmore
VOORHEES, N.J. (CBS) — A Voorhees police officer was charged Monday with misusing his police powers for personal reasons, according to officials in Camden County.
Forty-four-year-old Jeffrey M. Tyther is accused of using the State Police NCIC motor vehicle database on September 9, 2011 to get personal information about a female driver he passed in Voorhees.
Authorities say while on duty in a marked police cruiser, Tyther saw the woman pass him in traffic, pulled up next to her and waved at her. Neither one of them stopped their vehicles nor did they speak to one another. However, authorities say days later, Tyther used the woman’s personal information retrieved from the database to find her and “friend” her on Facebook.
When she didn’t respond to the friend request, Tyther emailed her, identifying himself as the officer who waved at her earlier that week, authorities said.
“At that point I think that unnerved her and she talked to a co-worker about it, and through that person, police were notified,” said the Public Information Officer of The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Jason Laughlin.
Officials say use of the NCIC motor vehicle database is limited to law enforcement purposes only.
“The use of this database is very specifically, very clearly restricted to criminal investigations. If you pull someone over and you want to see if they have a warrant on them,” said Laughlin.
According to authorities, Tyther did not stop the woman, issue her a ticket or witness her engage in any criminal behavior that would have warranted accessing her personal information through that database.
Tyther, who is a 14-year veteran of the department, is charged with Computer Theft and Violating the Motor Vehicle Record Law. He turned himself in to the State Police Monday and was released on a summons. He was suspended without pay from the Voorhees Police Department Saturday.
“We believe Tyther is innocent of these charges and look forward to dealing with this in court,” said Tyther’s attorney, John Eastlack.