Served: 35 years
1970 to January 26, 2005
Tom was born August 9, 1948 in Aurora to Crawford Freemont and Francis Jewel (McCrory) Cochran.
About 1970, he joined the Lawrenceburg Police Department.
During a 1983 gun battle in Aurora, Sergeant Cochran, another officer, and a dispatcher were shot by a thirty-year-old, Michael Tandy. Sergeant Cochran returned fire, killing Tandy. It was ruled a justifiable shooting, but it bothered Sergeant Cochran. So, he trained to become a negotiator.
About 2:30 p.m. on January 25, 2005, Officers Mike Lanning and Morgan Hendrick were negotiating with a suicidal man who was holding a knife to his throat inside a car. Their negotiations with the man were unproductive. Sergeant Cochran, who normally would have been off duty, came in earlier to assist undercover officers in a case and Officers Lanning and Morgan asked him to respond their location.
On the way, at 2:45 p.m., Sergeant Cochran’s patrol car encountered 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.
Sergeant Cochran was survived by his wife of 22 years, Jo’Nee K. Cochran, and children, Tracy Caswell (36), Tonya Allen (30), Troy Cochran (26), Joshua Cochran (17), and 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 Badge No. 15-203.
If you know of any information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Memorial@Police-Museum.org.
© This narrative was further researched and revised on January 16, 2013 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Director. All rights are reserved to him and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.