LAPD tightens rules in wake of cadet scandal

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Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck announced new rules for the beleaguered LAPD Cadet Program Friday, saying a manual laying out guidelines has now been created after a police officer was charged with the alleged sexual assault of a teen in the program, and several cadets were arrested for the alleged theft of police equipment.

The “comprehensive” manual, which will guide the conduct of “all youth programs” in the department, was compiled after an internal audit in the wake of the scandal that has rocked the program and prompted calls from some members of the community to shut it down.

RELATED STORY: LAPD chief announces clampdown on social media contact between cops and cadets

Among the department’s new provisions are stronger guidance on:

• Duties and responsibilities of youth officers

• Restrictions on employee interactions with youth program participants

• Social media protocols

• Restrictions on the types of assignments cadets can take

• Restrictions on access to police facilities and equipment

• Cadet recruitment standards

Back in June, Beck ordered a “top-to-bottom” examination of the department’s youth mentorship program after a total of seven teenaged cadets were arrested for allegedly stealing department equipment, including three police cruisers.

A week later, Beck himself arrested 10-year Officer Robert Cain, 31, who’s accused of having an unlawful sexual relationship with a 15-year-old cadet who was allegedly involved in stealing the police cruisers.

Cain was an “equipment room operator,” responsible for overseeing equipment at the department’s 77th Street Division, where the theft of three LAPD patrol vehicles occurred, Beck said.

The internal audit spawned more than just an updated review.

Recommendations include mandating criminal history checks for all program applicants 18 years old or older, beefing up the selection process for the department’s youth officer positions and a more robust inspection and evaluation schedule.

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