By day, Rick Drew is the director of sales and marketing for the life-care retirement community East Ridge at Cutler Bay. His mild-mannered, southern charm engages customers and inspires his sales team. When he is not working, Drew recalls horrific stories from his days in law enforcement in Kissimmee in Central Florida and he is putting the criminal cases he investigated into a series of books.
A Georgia native, Drew moved up the ranks in law enforcement in Kissimmee, where he began as a patrolman in 1980.
Known for ranching and farming and later for tourism generated by the Disneyworld attraction, Kissimmee is still considered small-town Florida. Yet, despite its slower pace and less congestion, it has a higher crime rate than the average Florida city.
Drew relied on his army experience and thrived working in law enforcement. He was promoted to detective in 1983 and, as a rookie, assigned to a variety of criminal cases, including thefts, burglaries and personal crimes. Later he served on the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. In 1984, he was transferred to the Special Investigations Division with significantly different responsibilities, including the enforcement of laws against the sale and use of dangerous drugs and vice.
During his four years with that division, he received numerous decorations and awards, including Detective of the Year, Police Officer of the Year and the countywide Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Drew joined the Osceola Sheriff’s Department in 1988 and assumed operational control of the narcotic enforcement unit. During his tenure, the drug enforcement division became one of the most successful in the history of the Sheriff’s Department. He was later named director of the county’s first multi-jurisdictional narcotics and vice task force under the direction of the municipal police chiefs, the sheriff and the state attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit.
Is He Dead? is a novel based on a true story of rape, incest, child and spousal abuse, torture and murder. As a homicide investigator, Drew paints an after-the-fact, gripping account of the police investigation into the lives of two innocent children, their mother and a notso- loving stepfather.
“It was the first time I actually cried during a suspect interview,” said Drew. “Hearing what these two children endured for more than decade was just more than my case-hardened senses could handle.”
Some book reviewers have said that Is He Dead? is a page-turner that the reader can’t put down until the end, and that Drew is a master storyteller who exposes the truth about real crime. I am in complete agreement as I was on the edge of my seat and couldn’t put the book down through the final pages. Drew did a remarkable job of telling this story.