A Grants Pass, OR policeman assigned as a school resource officer at an alternative school campus went above and beyond to nab a child predator who lured a young female student into his vehicle where he sexually assaulted her and tried to recruit her into prostitution.
According to the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), the incident happened in June 2022.
NASRO’s website has a tab containing “SRO Success Stories,” highlighting episodes in which stellar school resource officers across the country are duly heralded. In each of the SRO chronicles, none of the excellent police work and student mentorships and listening ears would be possible if the other side —the police abolitionists and those who demanded “policeless schools”— somehow saw their folly to fruition. We all know how that debacle caused trauma in many innocent lives.
In this case, though, Grants Pass police Officer Drake Brennan was on duty and on campus grounds when the victimized girl reported the assault. The details I discovered explained that the school has an “open lunch policy” that allows students to depart campus grounds for meal breaks; that is a key factor here.
(SRO Drake Brennan distributing candy during Halloween event. Photo courtesy of the Grants Pass Police Department.)
The victimized teen girl opted to get lunch off-campus and was approached by a 63-year-old male in a red pickup truck, offering her a ride. Unfortunately, she accepted the gesture.
The man’s intentions were far less than kind, though.
He drove her to a large department store’s parking lot where he sexually assaulted her while also making overtures for her to engage in prostitution, implying his role would be pimping her to others preying on youngsters.
The girl was able to flee the grimy criminal and ran back to campus.
According to the NASRO site, the “15-year-old girl ran […] as fast as she could, back to her alternative school campus,” where she “went straight to the administrative office” and “reported a sexual assault” that occurred “during her lunch period.”
As reported by Jay Farlow, school “Administrators summoned school resource officer Drake Brennan of the Grants Pass Police Department,” who was already on campus grounds. SRO Brennan “sat down with the girl, along with a [school] counselor and the principal. The girl was familiar with [SRO Brennan] “but didn’t know him well, so he started by building rapport. That took some time,” which is understandable given the gravity of what transpired and the typical multitudes of students attended to ordinarily by a sole SRO.
My department had one of our SROs at a middle school with a 1,200-student roster, so, understandably, not every youngster forms more than a basic knowledge that an SRO is on duty on campus.
(Photo courtesy of the Grants Pass Police Department.)
All SROs I ever worked with intimated the same thing offered by SRO Brennan: “I’m sure they know I’m there to listen. You have to show them that you care. Kids will pick up on that fast.”
In the case we are covering, the traumatized young victim is an ideal example of this philosophy.
With that, rapport development by SRO Brennan was achieved, comforting enough for the victimized girl to convey details regarding what occurred and by whom (description of assailant, his auto specs, and crime-scene location).
Per NASRO, SRO Brennan “was able to [extract] enough specific information to understand what happened that day in June 2022.”
At this juncture in the investigation, police protocol is to broadcast the incident and any pertinent info via radio, enabling patrol units to saturate the area and start a search (BOLO). Indeed, some criminals loiter, whether out of stupidity or cockiness, perhaps feeling empowered by the ludicrous politics diapering deviants nowadays. (The world witnessed the fester of anarchy permitted by Portland’s government, three-plus hours away from Grants Pass.)
With conventional police protocols fulfilled, SRO Brennan enlisted his agency’s detectives to broaden the scope of investigatory prowess. However, SRO Brennan took extra steps by visiting the crime scene and checking for potential surveillance footage which may have recorded crucial evidence such as the suspect’s imagery and the vehicle (license plate) in which he committed the sexual assault.
From the footage depicting the suspect’s auto license tag, an identity was now in hand.
Detectives with the Grants Pass PD located, interviewed, and arrested a 63-year-old man and charged him with sexual abuse and attempted compelling prostitution.
SRO Brennan’s and detectives’ diligence, culminating in investigative success stemming from this young girl’s case, prompted [other students] to open up and render revelations to police officials, about their victimization.
School Resource Officer “Brennan told NASRO he turned the incident into an educational tool, talking to other kids and spreading awareness about the dangers of risky choices. He said his activities led to additional criminal cases,” one in which he learned an “older man was grooming a student by giving her money,” Mr. Farlow reported.
“My role in the June [2022 ] case helped friends of that victim become more comfortable coming forward,” SRO Brennan explained. And that’s how it happens, providing cops are not hampered by ridiculous politics displacing SROs, thus telegraphing to predatory deviants that there is no armed, trained, readied resistance on school grounds.
On that note, SRO Brennan’s own words succinctly echo the points we often convey to NPA readers and supporters of law enforcement:
“It would have been 100% more difficult without an SRO. Unlike a patrol officer, students see me as just another staff member. That really helps bridge the gap.
“A patrol officer probably wouldn’t have had the time I needed to help the victim feel comfortable talking about what happened,” and that “familiarity with an SRO helps a lot…”
One other thing which this material engenders: Special Victims Units in law enforcement agencies, such as Sex Crimes, was plopped on the chopping block by the asinine anti-police squawkers, thereby intentionally dis-servicing individuals traumatized by sexual deviants and child predators.
As I studied this horrific event and SRO Brennan handling pretty much all aspects on behalf of a female juvenile, a mindset of going above and beyond deserves the extra credit, despite the antithetical activities of eradicating SROs from educational environments.
There are plenty of predators out there and way too few cops to handle it all nowadays.
Elated to know SRO Brennan tossed one of these child predators into the county jail and is diligently working on preempting others.
This article originally appeared at the National Police Association.