CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield Police Department held a press conference on Wednesday to announce the arrest of one of their officers for the solicitation of child pornography.
Col. Jeffrey Katz addressed the media about the issue saying this information would not normally be made public but the department is working to maintain a culture of accountability and transparency.
The arrested officer, 31-year-old Brandon Hyde, was hired by CCPD in January 2017. Prior to his time with the department, Hyde was a U.S. Marine and joined the National Guard.
Hyde sent at least one inappropriate photo to and received photos from a teenage girl during his employment with the department. He met her prior to his employment but the photos were exchanged in 2019 when the girl was 17 years old.
The incident came to light after another officer found out about the inappropriate relationship and brought it to the attention of senior staff. CCPD received the complaint on Feb. 20 of this year and started the investigation on Feb. 22 when Hyde returned from a military obligation. He was put on leave with pay during the beginning of the investigation. By March 1 he was on leave without pay and Hyde was fired on March 12, 2021.
Hyde has been charged with solicitation for child pornography and using an electronic device for the exploitation of a child.
Katz says the relationship between the officer and the teen was “never physical.” Hyde was forthcoming with information during the investigation and has not requested to repeal his termination.
The Chesterfield Police Department has been making statewide efforts this year to protect children from predatory adults and exploitation. Katz says they have arrested 38 people over the last year for online solicitation of minors. Including a school counselor, a popular cheer coach and a physician’s assistant. They have all since been charged.
Watch the full press conference below: