LAPD chief urges cadets to be ethical in wake of scandal

A cadet patch is seen on a uniform during an LAPD Cadet Program Graduation

AP A cadet patch is seen on a uniform during an LAPD Cadet Program Graduation

Today's arrest is the latest installment in a scandal that began last week, when members of the cadet program were first suspected of having stolen and crashed several police cruisers. Last weekend the LAPD suspended the cadet programs at the 77th Street and Pacific divisions.

A swarm of LAPD officers arrived at Cain's home Thursday to execute a search warrant and warned residents there may have been explosives inside the home, according to the neighbor, who said Cain lived there with his mother.

He said the sexual conduct did not happen at the police station.

Cain is free on bail and it's unclear if he has an attorney. "I find them to be absolutely inconsistent with the ethics and standards of the Los Angeles Police Department and they are criminal".

Cain, 31, a 10-year veteran of the department, had been assigned to the equipment room at 77th Street Division in South L.A. Six of the seven cadets arrested in connection with the thefts were assigned to the same division. The 15-year-old allegedly involved with Cain is one of at least seven cadets arrested following the theft of two police cruisers and equipment from two LAPD stations.

An LAPD supervisor doing inventory discovered that a squad vehicle was missing from the 77th Street station June 14, and the investigation quickly identified a female cadet caught on camera driving it off the lot, Beck said last week.

"I find the actions of Cain, if they are proven, to be despicable", Beck said.

"They're our youth, they're our future, and what they gain from this program is invaluable and we will make sure that we recommit to those values today", Beck said, expressing confidence in those who completed training. "The charges against this officer are deeply disturbing, and I have been assured he will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law".

On Saturday, Beck emphasized that he maintained faith in the cadets who were graduating, proudly calling them "the city's future".

Although the inspection is traditionally administered only to graduating cadets - or roughly 400 individuals in this class - Beck made a decision to execute a larger-scale inspection including as many as 1,000 former cadets as a show of his commitment to improved oversight after what he called a "difficult couple of weeks" for the embattled program. That includes how they are run and who runs them, to how they are paid for and reviewed.

- Beck, speaking at a Police Commission meeting Tuesday, said the cadets involved had impersonated police officers and initiated traffic stops of motorists, although no one who was pulled over was handcuffed, had force used on them or was issued a citation.

LAPD brass has long pointed to the cadet program as a success story.

The Los Angeles Police union representing LAPD officers is applauding Beck for taking quick action after the department learned about the relationship while investigating the stolen equipment and SUVs.

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