Police Officer Brennan Rabain
Prince George’s County Police Department, Maryland
End of Watch: Saturday, March 7, 2015
Tour of Duty: 1 year
Badge Number: 3912
Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: March 7, 2015
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Agency Contact Information
Chief of Police Mark Magaw
Prince George’s County Police Department
7600 Barlowe Road
Palmer Park, MD 20785
Phone: (301) 731-4422
Police Officer Brennan Rabain was killed in a single vehicle crash while attempting to make a traffic stop in the 9500 block of Greenbelt Road at approximately 3:30 am.
It is believed that Officer Rabain’s vehicle hit a patch of black ice, causing his patrol car to leave the roadway and strike a fence.
Officer Rabain had served with the Prince George’s County Police Department for one year. He is survived by a 3-year-old child.
A Prince George’s County police officer died early Saturday morning after his cruiser crashed into a wooden fence, authorities said.
The department is investigating what triggered the crash that killed 26-year-old Brennan Rabain, who was off duty that morning. There was a female passenger riding in the cruiser with Rabain at the time, said police, who would not identify her or explain why she was there.
Police did not say there was another person in the cruiser with Rabain until Saturday evening, when department spokeswoman Julie Parker disclosed it in response to questions from the media.
The passenger was sent to a hospital with minor injuries, and police have not been able to speak with her because she has been sedated, Parker said.
The incident began shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday when Rabain was traveling near the intersection of Greenbelt and Good Luck roads in Lanham, Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark A. Magaw said. For reasons police are still investigating, he lost control of his cruiser and went off the road.
Parker said investigators currently believe that Rabain was attempting a traffic stop, based on physical evidence at the scene and an eyewitness account, which she did not detail. According to the police department, Rabain had his lights and siren on.
Authorities are calling the incident a line-of-duty death, saying Rabain stopped being off duty “when he chose to take police action” by attempting the stop. Police are also still looking for the car that may have fled the scene, the
Rabain, who was wearing his seat belt, died the same morning from his injuries, Magaw said.
“The sun came up on a very sorrowful county. . . . a grieving Prince George’s County police department and a grieving family of a lost officer this morning,” Magaw said hours after Rabain’s death. “He was a fine officer.”
It is unclear whether Rabain was involved in a pursuit or why he was planning to stop the car, Magaw said. Authorities are also investigating whether the wreck could have been weather-related, as black ice still covered county roads Saturday morning.
While the investigation continued, Rabain’s colleagues and family remembered him as a dedicated son, father and police officer.
Rabain had been with the department for nearly two years and worked as a patrol officer in Clinton. He had a 2-year-old daughter.
Rabain’s aunt, Patricia Rabain, said her nephew had a strong work ethic. In high school, he kept up with his studies while working part-time installing air conditioners, she said. Later, when his daughter was born, he focused on finding the right career to make a better future for both of them.
“He worked as many jobs as he did because he wasn’t decided on what he wanted to do,” she said. “He wanted to provide for his daughter and take care of her.”
He eventually discovered that becoming a police officer was a natural fit, she said.
“He respected what they were trying to do for the citizens,” his aunt said. “He wanted to be a part of something that was good.”
Rabain began his career in law enforcement as an officer for the Capital City Special Police Department working part-time in Southeast Washington, said Christopher Bell, who runs the security firm.
“He excelled,” said Bell, who encouraged Rabain to apply for a job in Prince George’s. “He knew he couldn’t change everything, but he wanted to make some type of an impact. He wanted to make it a better community for people to live in.”
Officer Jonathan Meyers, who bonded with Rabain when they were cadets, said Rabain thought police officers should “bridge the disconnect” between law enforcement and the community. “He had dealt with police officers before and didn’t agree with their methods,” said Meyers, 23. “He wanted to be the officer he didn’t have when he was growing up.”
Rabain’s death has hit the department hard. “Whenever this happens, it becomes a big loss,” said Angelo Consoli Jr., a Fraternal Order of Police vice president. “It makes you reflect on how quickly and easily it could happen to each and every one of us.”
Including the loss of Rabain, the last three line-of-duty deaths for Prince George’s police have involved car crashes, Consoli said.
In 2012, officer Adrian Morris, 23, died after crashing his cruiser on Interstate 95 during a police pursuit. In 2010, the department mourned the loss of 27-year-old Thomas Jensen, a corporal whose cruiser hit a patch of black ice and crashed into a pole on the way to a call. Like Morris and Jensen, colleagues say Rabain will be remembered for being a proud police officer.
Officer Kyle Negrin, who worked on Rabain’s squad, said whenever Rabain pulled someone over, it wasn’t always about writing the ticket or being the crime fighter. “It was always about everybody’s safety,” Negrin said.
“He’d lecture people all the time if they weren’t wearing their seat belt . . . and would remind people of their family and kids. He cared about everybody.”
His friends have set up an online account to collect donations for his daughter at gofund.me/o5fh90.