Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

A Santa Ana Police Department “Detective of the Year” was arrested earlier this week, after being accused of sending graphic images — both on and off duty — to a civilian posing as a 14-year-old girl.

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security assisted in the investigation after the decoy contacted OC Crime Stoppers to inform them of the messages that were being sent by someone claiming to be a 45-year-old police officer,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer stated, according to a Tuesday press release. “Beaumarchais is accused of sending graphic messages with the civilian decoy between December 2021 and January 2022.”

“After access to his social media platform was cut off by the provider, Beaumarchais is accused of creating another account under a similar social media handle,” Spitzer continued.

The detective faces a maximum sentence of one year for a misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a victim believed to be under the age of 18. If convicted, he will also be required to register as a sex offender.

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“Today’s filing of criminal charges for showing sexual interest in children shows no one is above the law when it comes to keeping communities free from predators,” said Shawn Gibson, acting Special Agent in Charge, HSI Los Angeles.

“HSI is grateful for the collaboration with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to get these predators out of our communities and into the justice system,” he continued.

DA Spitzer added, “Police officers are entrusted with the sacred responsibility to safeguard society from harm.”

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“It is beyond disturbing that a sworn police officer would engage in inappropriate conversations with someone he believed to be a child,” he concluded. “Our children should not have to worry about being preyed upon by the very people we teach them who are there to protect them.”

Though a majority of police officers are usually trusted authority figures, when an officer engages in criminal behavior it tarnishes the badges of every other good one that exists — further diminishing their power to make a difference out on the street when it comes to combatting this historic crime wave, currently sweeping across the United States.

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