“Who is in charge of your life?
“Who is going to make your teachers proud?”
“Who is going to make their parents proud?”
Officer Loren Brumley barks out questions to new D.A.R.E. or Drug Abuse Resistance Education graduates at Rolling Meadow Elementary in West Valley City. And each time he shouts out – the students respond. “I am.”
The loud and energetic ‘back and forth’ goes on for thirty seconds, but Brumley believes the moment will stay in the students minds for years. “The biggest thing is I empower these kids.”
And when it comes to power – Officer Brumley is an expert. You see he is a 12 time power lifting champion and martial artist. “I competed probably for 15 to 20 years in power lifting. I was in the top 20 in the U.S. for dead lift and squat.” He’s also a S.W.A.T. team member. And when you throw on a police uniform – students, like 5th grader Kailia Mani, say he can be an intimidating figure – sort of. “If I didn’t know him I would think he is pretty scary.” But she does know him and says he is “Really awesome.” She and her classmates should know because they just went through the D.A.R.E. program with the 23 year police veteran and saw another side of Big Bad Officer Brumley. ” I think he is really cool and really nice and he teaches us all kinds of things.”
Officer Brumley says when he started with West Valley City Police he knew he wanted to do more. “When I first became a cop I would go to the same house and arrest the same people. And I thought – I’m not making a difference.” So, when the opportunity opened up – he put in for D.A.R.E. duty and never looked back. “If I can stop the wounds now and help the kids make those decisions then we don’t have to deal with them 10 or 15 years from now.” So, for close to a decade he has been encouraging kids – “You’re going a long way right. Right.” Helping kids.
“I tell them that they are in charge of their lives. They have to make those decisions.” And truly teaching kids – like 5th grader Ivan Murillo. “He is the best officer I ever met. He teaches me some great things. I learned how to calm down my stress cause I have anger problems. And I learned how to calm down. And I want to thank him, for that.”
Officer Brumley says he recognized a long time ago what he was good at and how he could best serve as a police officer. “You know what your good at – some guys are good at the undercover stuff. I look like a cop so I’m never going to go undercover.” And today he says “Of all the assignments I do – this is by far the most important.” And he believes he’s making a difference in the lives of the students he has a chance to teach. “It’s still fun to drive around town and hear ‘Officer Brumley.’ ‘Officer Brumley.’ They still remember you. And that is what it’s all about.”