State regulators have ordered an internal investigation by the Golden West College Police Academy following allegations of hacking.
Last week, former training officer Shady Skeet filed a complaint alleging that training officers were unprofessional with recruits. He has since left the academy, citing inappropriate and questionable practices, which he called “inappropriate, harsh and punitive”.
Skeet, a 28-year-old police veteran who is an officer in the Anaheim Police Department, filed a complaint with the Commission on Standards and Training of Peacekeeping Officers on April 24 after nine months as a training officer at the academy.
In a complaint to the commission, Skeet said recruits are subjected to pointless lunch checks that often cut their 30-minute lunch break in half. He wrote that training officers force recruits to line up and open lunch packages in one voice when officers identify prohibited foods such as sweet foods.
Skeet says he also watched as one recruit became a sign of unwarranted ridicule in the classroom and beyond.
“Stress management is appropriate, but there must be a reason for everything,” Skeet told The Times.
Apart from Scythia, the academy employed only part-time staff, who often worked once a week, a model that Scythian believed was the cause of the alleged abuse.
“Everyone has their own method of discipline and training, so it does not comply with the protocol and deviates from what they should do,” he said.
Skeet says he believes the lack of consistency and focus on training activities is another reason that hazing has been allowed.
When he asked the academy to explain the reason for this practice, the academy told him that “we have always done so” and “I do not receive complaints,” reads the letter he sent to the Anaheim police chief.
After publishing his complaint, Skeet said that he was called by the father of a former conscript, who allegedly received blisters from being forced to crawl on the asphalt at a temperature exceeding 100 degrees.
Skeet said the recruits were allegedly subjected to these conditions by mostly two officers, one of whom was two ranks higher than Scyth in the department.
“They’re good guys, and I respect them, but when they wear caps, they become completely different people,” he said.
As a rookie at the Rio Honda Police Academy in 1994, Skeet said he was faced with questionable practices.
“But it was a long time ago, and everything hasn’t changed in almost 30 years,” he said. “And GWC is worse.”
The Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center trains about 75 recruits a year and prepares them for the physical and mental demands of being an officer, according to Eric Falis, a district public information officer.
Students enrolled at the academy become officers of police departments and government agencies throughout Orange County, Los Angeles County and Southland.
The college is preparing an internal audit to make sure the practice meets the standards and rules of training of Peacekeeping Commission officers, as well as the standards of other training centers in Orange County, Falis said.
The Regional Justice Training Center last year received one anonymous complaint about lunch and bathroom breaks, Falis said.
The academy must notify the commission with a written response and a ruling from their internal investigation within 60 days, after which the commission may conduct further investigation if deemed necessary, said Megan Pulas, a POST spokeswoman.