Los Angeles

L.A. County Probation Dept. Sees Drop in Crime Caused by Own Workers

Had 74 cases in 2011, but down to 32 last year

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Los Angeles County probation officials say they have made substantial strides in reducing criminal misconduct committed by department employees.

They said the improvement—from 74 cases in 2011 to 32 last year—was the result of an expanded internal investigations team and the imposition of more stringent professional standards for the department's roughly 5,000 employees.

Officers supervise criminals upon their release from jail or prison, or those who are sentenced to probation. And they run the county's juvenile camps and halls for underage offenders.

"Where we have found misconduct, we have taken immediate action," Chief Jerry Powers said in a statement. "Investigations into on and off duty misconduct are a top priority."