Tracy Ellis

Real Estate Magazine

Edition 4 Features

O’Fallon Police Officer of the Year for 2014 Det. Brian Buchanan

Det. Buchanan, of the Criminal Investigations Section, is currently assigned to investigate Crimes Against Persons cases.  Many of his investigations involved children as
victims.  Crimes Against Persons can be a challenge to prove and takes a special person to cope with the investigations’ content.  He has investigated several serious cases this year, and his actions were crucial in resolving them successfully.  Often times Det. Buchanan’s cases involves physical and sexual abuse.  He has worked hard to develop trusted relationships with his victims, prosecuting attorneys, Children’s Division case workers, Child Advocacy interviewers, Missouri Juvenile Justice Officers and other law enforcement
professionals.  Det. Buchanan has been asked to represent law enforcement on a panel at the Annual Child Advocacy Center Interventions Conference.  His expertise in cases involving child victims and their offenders is shared with other professionals that either investigate and prosecute similar cases, or provide medical and behavioral assistance to victims.

He has vigilantly investigated a multiple cases where a child was molested by an adult suspect.  After a thorough investigation, Det. Buchanan was able to obtain a full confession from the suspect and charges were issued by the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for Child Molestation 1st Degree.  His efforts kept the children from being placed back in the care of the offender.  Det. Buchanan investigated the rape of a 16 year old girl.  An extensive investigation led to a large amount of incriminating evidence being uncovered and charges being issued in that case, as well. He has participated in numerous other cases involving rape victims, a shaken baby and robbery.  Det. Buchanan has been complimented by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for the work he put into particular investigations.

His work has led to many warrants and arrests of suspects. Physical and sexual assaults, child abuse cases, robberies, and other serious felonies can be demanding.  The facts that are uncovered are often disturbing, and it takes a special person to handle these cases.  Det. Buchanan has worked well as team member, assisting other detectives when his help is needed.  He responds whenever called upon without delay and brings his “A” game. “Det. Brian Buchanan has served as a detective with integrity and honor and I like to think he is representative of all our O’Fallon Detectives,” said Chief of Police Roy J. Joachimstaler.

Why did you decide to become a police officer?
I wanted to help others and thought it would be an exciting job.  I knew a lot of police officers and enjoyed the brotherhood.  I’ve always respected the uniform and felt I could make a difference.  I became a police officer 19 years ago and for the past 10 years I’ve been a Criminal Investigations Detective.  I didn’t become a police officer to become rich,
but I make a decent living and have a rewarding career.

What has been the most gratifying part of your job?
The last 3 years I’ve been working on child & sex crimes, I feel I’m making a difference and doing everything I can to help get convictions.  It’s a challenge because you usually don’t have a witness or physical evidence.  In most cases the Perpetrator is someone the victim knows and they groom their victim.  This is where training and experience makes a difference.  I do everything I can to help the victims heal during this difficult situation. The victims will never get closure, but at least they can stand up to the person who did this to them.

There has to be so many highs and lows, how do you handle that?
I’ve had to learn to compartmentalize, my work and home brain.  It’s so hard not to put yourself in the parent’s shoes that just lost their child or when you’re taking a woman’s husband to jail for doing something wrong and their mad at me.  I realize they’re not mad at me, they just need to vent.  I try to put myself in their position and realize it’s not personal and I have to do my job.  No matter the situation, I always treat people with respect and realize I can’t fix everything.  As a police officer, I’ve learned to treat all people the same and equal.  I always think as a police officer we are seeing people at most likely the worst time in their life and if we can do anything to make it a touch better we’ve done something.

Is there a case that you feel you may have changed the direction of someone’s life?
I had a case where a man passed away from a heroin overdose and left behind a girlfriend with a child.  I’ve tried to guide her and advise her that this is a fork in the road.  It’s time to make a change for herself and their child.  She recently called to thank me and told me she was going to enter a treatment program.  I really hope she succeeds!

What is the most frustrating part of being a police officer?
I guess for me, realizing I can’t save the world.  There have been times when the suspects will run from you in cars or on foot and you have to take into consideration is it worth it?  They could hit an innocent family going to school or the store.  It’s very hard to learn to let it go in a situation like that because you want to get the bad guys off the street, but you can’t always do that.  It’s something that comes with maturity and guiding our younger officers that we can’t save the world, we have to look out for the best interest of everyone.  We have to abide by the Constitution and realize although there are times we’d like to kick the door down, we can’t.  We all have rights and as police officers we have to respect those rights and we can follow the rules and still get our job done.

Do you think you’ll retire as a Detective?
I’ll definitely retire in some type of police work, God willing!  When I retire I’ll have served about 30 years.  I won’t retire rich, but I’ll retire feeling like I made a difference in people’s lives.  I didn’t serve in the Military like many other members of my family, so doing my job makes me feel like I did my part and I served my Country.

1Rick Ellis will be honoring a hero in each
edition of The Tracy Ellis magazine.
Cell: 636.699.2197
Office: 636.720.3834