Detective Sergeant Thomas L. Cochran | Lawrenceburg Police Department


Detective Sergeant Thomas L. Cochran
Detective Sergeant Thomas L. Cochran

Badge 15-203
Age: 56
Served: 35 years
1970 to January 26, 2005


During a 1983 gun battle in Aurora, Sergeant Cochran, another officer, and a dispatcher were all shot by 30-year-old Michael Tandy. Sergeant Cochran returned fire, killing Tandy. It was ruled a justifiable shooting, but it still bothered Sergeant Cochran, as it does most cops, to take a human life. So, in order to lessen the chances of having to do so again in the future, he trained to become a negotiator.

About 2:30 p.m. on January 25, 2005, Officers Mike Lanning and Morgan Hendrick were dealing with a suicidal man who was holding a knife to his throat inside a car. Their negotiations with the man were unproductive. Sergeant Cochran had come in earlier to assist undercover officers in a case and Officers Lanning and Morgan asked him to respond their location.

En route, at 2:45 p.m., Sergeant Cochran’s patrol car slid on an icy patch, ran off the side of the road on State Road 48, and slammed into a concrete retaining wall. Sergeant Cochran was thrown from the vehicle and critically injured. He was rushed to University Hospital in Cincinnati where he succumbed to the injuries on the next day, January 26, 2005.

He was survived by his wife, Jo’Nee K. Cochran (41), and five children; Tracy Caswell (36), Tomya Allen (30), Troy Cochran (26), Joshua Cochran (17), and Jessica Cochran (13). His funeral, one of the largest ever seen in Dearborn County, was held at Lawrenceburg High School. He was buried on January 31, 2005, in Riverview Cemetery, Aurora. More than one thousand police officers from several states and the Cincinnati Police Honor Guard, Hamilton County Sheriff Pipe and Drum Corps, and Hamilton County Sheriff’s helicopter participated in graveside ceremonies. Lawrenceburg Police Chief Gene Hunefeld retired Sergeant Cochran’s badge, Number 15-203.

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This narrative was researched and revised January 16, 2013 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President. All rights are reserved to him and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.