CWU News

Law and Justice Graduate Authors Child Abuse Investigation Textbook

Detective to Present “Investigating Child Murder and Abuse” October 27

"How do you stay sane?" That's a question Bradley R. Graham, a long-time detective in the Tacoma Police Department's Special Assaults Unit, is asked all the time about investigating child abusers.

Graham has recently published the comprehensive textbook, Effective Child Abuse Investigation for the Multidisciplinary Team. He hopes that the information in the book will provide the structure and means for successful child abuse investigations. Getting the bad guys is a good strategy for staying sane.

Detective Graham will give a public lecture, “Investigating Child Murder and Abuse,” Monday, October 27, in Dean 104 from noon to 1:00 p.m., on CWU's Ellensburg campus.

“Fighting child abuse is my passion,” said Graham. A Chicago native, he earned his master’s degree in law and justice from Central Washington University’s Kent Center in 2013. His desire to write the book coincided well with his master’s program coursework—“I decided early on that this would be my focus.”

“My professors gave me their expectations, and sections of the book became projects for my classes. By the time I graduated, the book had written itself,” said Graham, who credits his professors for helping him put his work into a usable manual.

Graham’s master’s advisor, Charles Reasons, CWU professor of law and justice, submitted the manuscript to a book publisher, and Graham worked on revisions for a year. The book was published by CRC Press early this summer (

Graham advocates for the multidisciplinary team approach to child abuse and was instrumental in the creation of the protocols used at the Pierce County’s Child Advocacy Center at Mary Bridge Hospital in Tacoma. 

“I always wanted to develop a best practices handbook for the next generation of law enforcement officers,” he recounted. “I wanted them to understand how a global approach to child abuse was critical to healing a fractured family.”

“I use case studies to show how an entire team of people, from the social worker, to the detective, to the prosecutor, must work together to provide justice for these children and their families,” he relayed. “I also have a checklist of questions for officers to use in the field—I get a lot of requests just for that alone.”

Graham is profoundly aware of the pervasive nature of abuse, and how it can affect families, and ultimately society, for generations. He hopes that a comprehensive approach that both stops perpetrators, and provides help for the child and the family will help end the legacy of abuse.

Graham has been a detective in the Tacoma Police Department since 1997, first in the Criminal Investigations Division, and later in the Domestic Violence Unit. In 2000, he transferred to the Special Assaults Unit. He specializes in investigating child fatalities and child sexual/physical abuse cases. He is the senior detective in the unit and has created a training program for newly assigned detectives to the SAU teaching an understanding of the dynamics of abuse investigations and child death investigations.

Graham also teaches at Basic Law Enforcement Academy for the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission as an adjunct faculty member. Additionally, he presents training, both locally and nationally, regarding child abuse, sex crimes, domestic violence, interview and interrogation, crisis intervention and the use of DNA in investigations. He is a core faculty member and practicum leader for the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children’s (APSAC) Child Forensic Interview Clinic.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,