LOVELAND, COLORADO — Loveland police filed charges Friday against a member of the Police Department on allegations he possessed child pornography.
Rod Bretches, 48, faces a felony charge of sexual exploitation of a child and two misdemeanor charges of peeping after his co-workers served a search warrant on his home Tuesday. The felony charge accuses him of having more than 20 pornographic videos and photographs, and the misdemeanors allege he, twice, viewed or recorded a woman in the shower without her knowledge.
Bretches turned himself in and was booked, then released on $10,000 bond — an amount set by 8th Judicial District Court Judge Greg Lammons.
Bretches began his career with the Loveland Police Department as a reserve officer in 1985, then was hired as a police officer in Craig from 1988 to 1993 before returning to serve with the Loveland Police Department for 19 years.
He became one of the department’s first police-dog handlers and has given K9 presentations throughout the community at public safety day, for Scout groups, before community groups and at schools.
There is no indication that any crime occurred while he was on duty or in any police capacity, said Chief Luke Hecker.
Earlier this week, a woman learned a video of her in the shower had been secretly taken at Bretches’ home and shared online, according to family and friends. She reported the alleged violation to Loveland police, and detectives quickly launched an investigation.
Officers served a warrant at Bretches’ home Tuesday and reportedly found child pornography on his personal computer.
Police took his badge and service weapon immediately, then continued to investigate, filing charges Friday with the 8th Judicial District Attorney.
“We treated this like any other case, like any other suspect,” Hecker said.
His officers are reeling with the arrest of one of their own, but are committed to continuing to protect and serve the community with integrity, Hecker said. Counseling and peer support are available to all staff.
“This has been a very difficult investigation for Loveland police, but they have stepped up, heroically and with integrity, and investigated thouroughly and very rapidly,” Hecker said.
“The speed with which the charges were filed and the due diligence our staff put into this and investigating this with integrity is a reflection of the trust people can have in this department.”
During his career, Bretches was involved in many arrests, chases and notable captures and was a visible face of the Loveland Police Department.
He is on paid administrative leave, facing prison time if convicted.
The felony carries a sentence of two to six years in prison, which spikes to 12 years if there are aggravated circumstances, and each misdemeanor could bring up to 24 months in jail.
Bretches, like anyone accused of a crime, is considered innocent until proven guilty, so department policy dictates paid leave until the allegations have played out in court.
The police officer is due to make his first appearance Friday. He is free on bond and has been ordered not to possess any weapons.