JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A veteran Jacksonville police officer is facing two felony charges and will likely lose her job after she was accused of passing information from a confidential law enforcement database to a family friend.
Sgt. Tamara Hardin, 43, a 17-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, is charged with one count of disclosure of confidential criminal justice information and one count of offenses against users of computers. Both are third-degree felonies.
Undersheriff Pat Ivey said Hardin, who was arrested and booked into the Duval County Jail on Tuesday morning, opted not to resign, but he said JSO will move to terminate her employment because she is facing felony charges. He said the criminal investigation will need to be completed before they can begin the administrative process to terminate her.
She can apply to the civil service review board to protest the termination.
“I think we’re up to the challenge that she doesn’t need to work for this agency,” Ivey said.
In the meantime, she will be on leave without pay, Ivey said.
According to Ivey, JSO was contacted by a law enforcement agency in Georgia about a person of interest for their department who had been in contact with Hardin. He said they forwarded that information to JSO’s integrity and special investigations unit, which looked into it and found Hardin was using her access to confidential law enforcement databases and releasing that information to the subject, who was a family acquaintance.
Ivey said the person in Georgia was asking if they were wanted and that Hardin ran the name through the database to let them know if they had warrants against them. Ivey did not release the person’s name but said the person and Hardin were family acquaintances.
A JSO spokesman explained that warrants are considered active criminal information, and that, although they can be subject to public records requests after they’re served, Hardin used a restricted law enforcement database to learn specific information and then released that information.
Ivey said there’s no excuse for leaking information like that because training on using the databases includes who can have access to the information.
“Officers are always trained on it,” Ivey said. “They know.”
Ivey pointed out that this is the second arrest of an officer in 2021 after the Sheriff’s Office arrested 11 of its employees in 2020. Hardin is the 57th JSO employee to be arrested since Mike Williams took over as sheriff in 2015. For perspective, there are about 3,500 people employed by the department.
“Nothing surprises me in this position anymore. But we take each case individually, do an investigation and if we believe an arrest is warranted, then we make the arrest,” Ivey said.
This case follows one from last year when the executive secretary for JSO’s patrol chief -- Arlisa Tarver -- was accused of tipping off wanted suspects that warrants were processing against them. Tarver is set to go to trial next month.
The JSO spokesman explained that citizens can check the Florida Department of Law Enforcement database online to search for wanted individuals.