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LA County Places 66 Probation Officers on Administrative Leave Amid Abuse Allegations

Elgin Nelson

      The Los Angeles County Probation Department has placed 66 officers on administrative leave since January 1, amidst allegations of misconduct, including excessive force, sexual abuse, and drug possession. This move is part of the department’s initiative to rebuild public confidence and eliminate improper behavior within its ranks. L.A. County Chief Probation Officer Viera Rosa said all the officers placed on leave since the first of the year represent a small minority of the department, which holds the largest probation agency in the country with about 2,800 sworn officers.

      “It is out of respect for the majority of our officers, who perform their duties each day with integrity, that we moved quickly on these cases,” he said. “It’s not right that the majority should be tarnished by the misconduct of a few. We will not tolerate anything that is an affront to our mission and a disgrace to the important work we do.”

      The officers, who were assigned to adult and juvenile divisions of the department, face investigations for various allegations. Of those suspended, 39 officers are scrutinized for misconduct such as suspected excessive force, child endangerment or abuse, possession of contraband, and negligent supervision. Additionally, 18 officers are under investigation for sexual misconduct, while nine face scrutiny for arrests not related to their duties.

      Notably, the general misconduct category includes 14 officers implicated in incidents of youth-on-youth violence at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall, now being probed by the California Attorney General. This inquiry is part of the department’s ongoing efforts to reform its Internal Affairs Unit.

      “We are releasing this information in the spirit of greater transparency and to assure our stakeholders — especially the families of youths in our juvenile facilities — that we will not tolerate anything that impedes our mission to provide a safe, nurturing, and structured environment for those entrusted to our care,” Rosa said in a statement.

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