A veteran Long Beach police officer was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of possessing child pornography, authorities said.
Anthony Mark Brown, 56, was taken into custody while on duty before a search warrant was served at his Lakewood home, officials with the Long Beach Police Department said. The 26-year veteran of the force was then arrested, with bail set at $20,000, according to a news release.
In the release, the department said it was "deeply disappointed" to announce the arrest.
“When the actions of an individual employee erode the values of our organization and the public trust all of us have worked so hard to cultivate, they must be held accountable,” acting Police Chief Wally Hebeish said in a statement. “Protecting children is one of our most sacred responsibilities, and the actions of this officer do not represent the professionalism and commitment that all of our employees show every day while protecting our community.”
The arrest followed an investigation launched by the department after receiving a tip in May concerning a "possible online crime against a child," the release said. After gathering information, police identified Brown as the suspect.
Brown was most recently assigned to the Long Beach Airport as part of the Security Services Division.
He has been suspended without pay as both criminal and internal investigations continue.
In a tweet, the Long Beach Police Officers’ Assn. said it would not provide legal defense for Brown, calling the accusation "deeply disturbing."
"If the allegations are true, there can be no excuse for this disgusting crime," police union President Richard Chambers said in a statement.
No charges had been filed against Brown as of Thursday afternoon, according to Greg Risling, spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.