Crime & Justice

Chief Beck addresses graduating LAPD cadets amid scandal

Police Chief Charlie Beck attends with some cadets the 2013 LAPD South Los Angeles PAAL Awards Gala.
Police Chief Charlie Beck attends with some cadets the 2013 LAPD South Los Angeles PAAL Awards Gala.
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for LAPD

With the LAPD's cadet program facing intense scrutiny after two scandal-plagued weeks, Police Chief Charlie Beck addressed teen cadets and their families at a Saturday graduation.

In his speech at the commencement ceremony, held at USC's Galen Center, Beck talked about the importance of protecting cadets, who are between the ages of 13 and 20.

"We will take care of your kids like they are our own," Beck said. "We are committed to the safety of these young people, and the development of their futures... That includes making sure that those who would harm them, those who would abuse their authority, are not only noticed, but dealt with."

On Friday, an LAPD officer was arrested for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old cadet.

Beck personally took officer Robert Cain into custody at the 77th Street Division station. More than 100 weapons, including sawed-off shotguns, were seized at Cain's home, according to our media partner, NBC4

Over the past two weeks, seven cadets have been arrested. Three of them allegedly stole two LAPD squad cars and led officers on separate high-speed chases, both of which ended in crashes.

The department is investigating the lapses in security that led to the thefts and Beck has committed to stricter oversight of the cadet program.

At Saturday's graduation, 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."