Guthrie Police Officer Works As Oklahoma's Child Porn Crusader


Thursday, February 14th 2013, 8:31 pm
By: News 9


Heather Hope, News 9

GUTHRIE, Oklahoma -- You could call him Oklahoma's Child Porn Crusader.

One local police officer is on a mission to get accused child predators off the streets. And, he's helping by making dozens of arrests.

The majority of the state's sex crimes cases involving children are investigated by Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation's ICAC, or Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Every day you can usually spot Lt. Mark Bruning of the Guthrie Police Department behind a computer. He investigates sexual predators accused of sharing child pornography online.

"So this year, I think I've worked 14 or 15 cases since January," says Lt. Mark Bruning of the Guthrie Police Department. "It's horrible to look at, the pictures and the videos, it's horrible, but it's worth it to put these people behind bars."

On Tuesday, the OSBI says its Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested four men in northeast Oklahoma. All of the men face charges of child exploitation, and all of the cases were ones Bruning started.

"I mean he is extremely cooperative with our task force. He's good to work with and he knows what he's doing," says Steve Tanner, the agent-in-charge of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. "He's got extensive training, I think we bought him just about every piece of equipment he could need."

Bruning uses $10,000- worth of software to search for predators in the state downloading and sharing videos of children. He notes that just because you see the City of Guthrie attached to a lot of sex offender cases does not mean the sex offenders live there, it just means that Bruning is involved in the investigation.

There are more than 60 ICAC task forces in the U.S. and Oklahoma's task force is partially funded by the Department of Justice and uses about 64 agencies including Guthrie, Edmond, Enid, Stillwater and Canadian County Sheriff's Department. As an ICAC member, Bruning receives an OSBI commission card and badge that gives him jurisdiction to investigate crimes outside of Guthrie.

The team's goal is to positively identify children being molested.

"I feel strongly about what we're doing, so as many as I can get, I'm going to do," Bruning says. "The people that we go after are the people that will come after our kids, so that's why it's important to me to go get these people."

Lt. Bruning says it can take weeks to months to even track down a name of a sexual predator before he begins each investigation. And he does all of this while balancing the OSBI workload with his Guthrie Police Department caseload.