LAPD Officers Investigated For 'Military-Style' Boot Camp For Children

Los Angeles police boot camp bully

It's billed as a way to help troubled teens in Hollywood, Calif., but a military-style boot camp run by two Los Angeles police officers appears to bully and intimidate kids enrolled in the program, and has led to a departmental investigation.

Two online videos (including the one below) show drill instructors screaming at young participants, disparaging them and, in at least one instance, challenging a child to a fight, KTLA reports.

The scenes show officers taunting and screaming at the children, including one who appears to be about 6 years old, though most look to be about 11 to 15. Another scene shows a group of girls struggling to complete exercises, with some in tears as they do pushups or are yelled at by the officers.

The two officers behind the boot camp, Ismael Gonzalez and Alex Nava, have defended the weekend program, which they began in February.

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"The program is positive not only for our kids, but for the parents," Gonzalez told the Los Angeles Daily News.

Gonzalez said that his Juvenile Intervention Program is modeled after the similar Juvenile Impact Program run by the police department itself. But he and Nava charge twice as much -- $200 -- for the 12-week program, in which parents also receive counseling.

The Los Angeles Police Department told KTLA that it was unaware of Gonzalez and Nava's program, and that internal affairs is investigating both the class and the officers involved.

Video below starts at 0:51.

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I'm all for what these officers are doing! Tough love! if this is what it takes to teach them, then by all means they have my blessing!!! Unless you have an out of control teen/child then you have NO IDEA what it feels like for anyone to help put them back on the right path. I'd rather this, then see my child in prison, dead.

June 16 2013 at 6:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Trina M.

I agree with Jasons comment. We should APPLAUD these officers NOT CONDEMN them.

August 29 2012 at 6:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Trina M.

Excuse me but My son just recently finished boot camp with Officer Nava and Gonzalez. I was present during every single Saturday of the 12 week program. I observed and I interacted with everyone on staff. They are dedicated people who give of their OWN time because they CARE about these kids. There was no intimidation nor abuse of any kind. I have the rights to say this as I know got to know them and have been a part of this boot camp. I saw positive changes in my son and I was looking forward to starting him again in the program. Now I find out false accusations were made from people who were not there. People whose kids did not attend. This is disgusting. I stand behind Officer Nava and Gonzalez all the way even my 13 year old son who completed the program is upset. That should say something for itself. The officers gave positive advice and structure to these kids.Its sad when something is created to HELP kids and its torn down due to lies and ignorance.

August 29 2012 at 6:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That kid is so young he may not know what the word "priorities" means. They seem really harsh in my view, don't know if all of those young people need to be treated as harshly as some others might. I hope the results are positive for every one of them.

August 09 2012 at 5:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think what many fail to see that once these kids have successfully completed a boot camp style training and disciplinary alternative, is that the majority, whom are already lacking parental figures or guidance and clearly on a path of a life of crime, actually turn their lives around for the better. This non-punishment type of discipline teaches these kids responsibility, respect, and that hard work does pay off. I applaud these Officers for taking their intervention efforts to the next level. These Officers should be commended, not condemned for actually caring about other peoples kids and trying to keep them from a life of crime and productive members of society. My hats off to the men and women in blue.

August 08 2012 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kids who need to master there anger,and learn not and go kill someone becuse there upset

August 03 2012 at 10:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People Wake up, I begged for my son, there was no program then, my son is sitting in prison for using an air gun in a spree of robberies, some people laughed at him , he wore a scream mask, he left places that left, but he got 10 years in Prison, and faces another 10 yrs on probabation. don't be so hard on a program that may scare the kids shitless, make them think twice. My heart ackes for the time he didn't get to spend with his daughters. peer pressure was involved. I aplaud the program, where were you when my son needed help? where were you when I begged for help? they wouldn't even put him in a jail cell to show him what could happen :(( He is still in prison, but he is alive. many lives affected meanwhile

August 01 2012 at 7:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bullying is not good. Those policemen have ego problems, they are the problem not the solution. We were always taught that police were your friend and you can always go to them for help. After that class, those kids will never turn to the police for help.

August 01 2012 at 4:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

What a great idea! Some real tough love. Just what these kids need. Real heros who care enough to point the way and take these misguided lack of discipline street kids who,s parents can"t control and teach them self worth and pride. What"s wrong with high self esteem? To be proud of who you are regardless of race or background. Being in a gang is not the answer. GO fellow officers!

August 01 2012 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I wonder how many of those kids are here illegally? Many modern day cops are like the ones in the video. Most of them have replaced doughnuts with ego. They are tough when it comes to children and kids but often do not show that same toughness when faced against another man.

We need law enforcement officers, but we need level headed law enforcement officers.

August 01 2012 at 4:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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