Detective Jennifer Bradberry takes on difficult area of child sex crimes; recognized for professionalism

Published 12:10 am Thursday, August 3, 2023

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Orange County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jennifer K. Bradberry has been recognized as the Officer/Detective of the Year Award by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2775 of Orange.

The award was presented in recognition of Bradberry’s exceptional work in special investigations, primarily in the area of child sex crimes, child abuse and child exploitation.

“It’s a big surprise, feels really good and validates that you’re doing a good job,” Bradberry said. “It felt really great to receive it.”

Chief Deputy Mark Dubois nominated Bradberry, praising her outstanding contributions to combating heinous crimes against children.

Sheriff Jimmy Lane Mooney says Bradberry works tirelessly on all her cases.

“She immerses herself in these cases,” Mooney said. “She is the consummate professional, very thorough, one of our top detectives. I’m so proud of her and I’m glad she got the recognition she deserves.”

With a background in law enforcement spanning 16 years before joining the sheriff’s office in July 2020, Bradberry has become an integral part of the OCSO Criminal Investigation Division. Her investigations often require coordination with a multitude of agencies and jurisdictions.

Bradberry’s relentless dedication to fighting child exploitation cases has garnered recognition from the Texas State Attorney General’s Office, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Recently, she worked on a 2-year-old case involving an intellectually and physically disabled victim of sexual assault. Bradberry’s efforts resulted in the arrest and prosecution of an assailant, leading to a lengthy prison sentence.

“It feels good to be able to complete a case and know we got the right individual, and this is not going to happen again to anyone else because he’s in prison” Bradberry said.

“Justice for the family; we’re here to help, that’s what we’re here to do. I want the community to have faith in us. That’s what we’re trying to do. We were able to do that.”

Bradberry holds an associates of arts degree from Lamar State College Port Arthur and a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Lamar University.

She acknowledged the training doesn’t preclude her from difficult daily challenges.

“When you see a child have to describe all these horrible things, by no means is it pleasant to have to hear. Sometimes they’re embarrassed,” she said. “Things like that aren’t supposed to happen to children, but there are some sick individuals out there.

“I had a child abuse case where the infant was covered in bruises; it was a horrible sight to see.”

What makes her job rewarding, she said, “It can be as simple as saying ‘thank you’ to actually getting someone convicted in court, knowing good and well they did it, even if they deny it. Knowing they did it and get a conviction, it feels good.”

Looking to the future, Bradberry hopes to continue building strong relationships with advocacy groups. She aims to address issues like sex trafficking on social media and the dark web, while advocating for children’s safety and providing safe homes for them.

With the anticipated influx of people due to plant expansions, Bradberry recognizes the potential for an increase in crimes.

“The more we can all work together to try and get rid of, although you never get rid of these crimes and let people know that things like this are not tolerated in our community,” she said.

The Officer/Detective of the Year Award, presented annually by VFW Post 2775, honors exemplary emergency services personnel, law enforcement officers and firefighters who go above and beyond in their service to the community.

Ed Lampman of VFW Post 2775 highlighted the importance of recognizing first responders for their outstanding service, stating, “These individuals deserve the recognition by going above and beyond, and the recognition helps to garner better community support for all they do.”

— Written by Chrissie Mouton