The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database is supposed to be used by police to look up individuals during the course of an investigation. Jeffrey Tyther, however, used it to look up a random woman he saw driving down the street one day while on duty.
The incident in question occurred on September 9, 2011. On that day, Tyther is believed to have accessed the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database and looked up the personal information of a woman he’d passed while on duty. The woman was not stopped, let alone issued a ticket or any other citation, according to Laughlin. “Tyther was on duty in a marked police cruiser when he saw [the woman] pass him. He pulled up behind her, then pulled next to her and waved at her. At no time did Tyther or the other motorist stop their vehicles or speak.”
While Laughlin was not able to list all the details Tyther may have seen when he looked the woman up in the NCIC database, he did confirm that the woman’s name, address, outstanding records and other information would’ve been available, among other things. Laughlin explains that the NCIC database is “specifically limited to law enforcement purposes only,” meaning that it should only be used “to further a criminal investigation.” Not to look up random women.
He attempted to “friend” her within a few days of seeing her on the road. When she didn’t respond to the friend request Tyther emailed her, identifying himself as the officer who waved at her earlier that week.
The woman told a co-worker about the incident and the co-worker contacted police.
It’s a good thing she did too. This is creepy and stalkerish.
Tyther was charged with computer theft and violation of the Motor Vehicle Record Law — second- and fourth-degree felonies, respectively — on Monday.
There are those on the NBC site’s comments who think this is a minor offense and that Tyther should just get a fine. What they don’t understand is that Tyther misused his authority as a police officer to get Motor Vehicle information about a woman he saw that was pretty. If anyone else had done this, they would be prosecuted and put in jail. It’s a crime to invade one’s privacy in this manner, particularly since citizens cannot keep their information out of the DMV record. The police are there to safeguard this privacy, not to invade it on a whim to chat up a pretty girl.