Review Of LAPD Cadet Program Prompts New Guidelines In Wake Of Scandals
The manual for the LAPD cadet program has been updated per a review that occurred following a series of scandals earlier this summer. It now includes guidelines around social media use, requires formal training for the officers on how to interact with young people, and ups the number of supervising officers, according to the L.A. Times. Earlier this summer, teen cadets were arrested for stealing and crashing police cruisers while impersonating police officers, leading to a suspension of the program at the station where the teens were based. An officer was also arrested for allegedly having unlawful sex with a 15-year-old cadet and was separately charged with felony weapons charges.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who has maintained support for the program despite the mounting scandals, announced the new manual Friday. The manual was last updated over a decade ago, according to the L.A. Times.
The manual now lays out very specific rules about usage of electronics, according to the L.A. Daily News. The police department will issue phones to the officers supervising the cadets so that they can monitor the content and activity of the supervisors' communication with the cadets. Older cadets will also no longer be provided with a "sworn employee’s serial number" to access LAPD systems (sometimes cadets would use the number to aid with filing incident reports).
Beck emphasized how the cadet program is not to train future police officers, but rather to "build character and leadership skills and to improve relationships between the police and residents," according to the L.A. Times. Enrollment has tripled in recent years, contributing to the negligent supervision outlined in the review, and Beck is determined to maintain the program for the program, which services "model students" and those he describes as "needy, disadvantaged and isolated."