WEST DEPTFORD, NJ — West Deptford police officer Thomas M. McWain, 30, has been charged with official misconduct, tampering with evidence, and computer crime in connection with an alleged scheme to place an individual in a drug rehabilitation program in which he had a financial interest, the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office announced.
McWain was the first officer in Gloucester County to earn the distinction of being certified as a drug addiction recovery coach. He said his passion stemmed from his experiences encountering addicts on the streets. A 2016 South Jersey Times story noted that he had used the opiate overdose antidote Narcan more than any other officer over the previous year. McWain also lamented the lack of options for addicts when they encounter police.
“We’re arresting the same people over and over again,” he said. “I wanted to be able to find something else to do”
However, McWain is now accused of filing a police report containing a “false narrative” regarding a 2017 evidence seizure and arrest. He sought to refer “a subject with whom he had contact as a West Deptford Township police officer,” to a drug rehabilitation center in which he had a financial interest, according to authorities. Officials say McWain, while apparently posing as a civilian, allegedly asked people to meet up with him and to bring narcotics. He would then arrest them and refer these people to drug rehab services, prosecutors allege.Officials say the allegations involve more than one incident.
He surrendered at the prosecutor’s office on Tuesday and was released pending a Dec. 21 court appearance in Superior Court Woodbury, according to authorities. McWain, an officer with the West Deptford Police Department since 2013, was initially suspended with pay on April 28 and was suspended without pay on Nov. 6.
The prosecutor’s office also said he accessed computerized criminal records without authorization in order to benefit someone else and deleted text messages asking someone to bring drugs to the scene of a traffic stop. He deleted the messages once he learned that he was the subject of an investigation, authorities said.