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‘A punch in the gut’: 30 Georgia State Patrol troopers fired after investigation into cheating allegations

106th Trooper School Graduation. (Georgia Department of Public Safety/Released)
January 30, 2020

An entire class of Georgia State Patrol troopers was fired Wednesday after an investigation into accusations the graduates cheated on an online exam.

The group of graduates from the 106th Trooper School — 30 were fired Wednesday — were accused of cheating on an exam for the “Speed Detection Operator component of the trooper school curriculum,” the Georgia Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

DPS Commissioner Col. Mark W. McDonough told reporters at a press conference the now-fired troopers have written 133 speeding tickets since they graduated in August, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The outlet reported information has been given to courts throughout the state and that most of those violations are expected to be dismissed.

“It’s a punch in the gut,” McDonough told reporters, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This goes to our very core values.”

Four allegations were investigated, beginning in October, and all four were found to be true, DPS said in the press release. The class was investigated by the department’s Office of Professional Standards (OPS).

“Investigators found the cadets utilized written or typed notes, received direct assistance from another cadet (test answers), utilized test questions and answers posted by a cadet on the GroupMe online application, and queried an internet search engine for test questions and answers,” the department said.

DPS added two Snapchat group chats were created, which included members of the class. There were 33 members of the 106th Trooper School, the department said — before Wednesday, one was already dismissed, another resigned and a third is on military leave.

According to the DPS, the allegations were:

Everyone in the 106th Trooper School Cheated on the Speed Detection Operator Exam

A cadet at the time had helped other cadets with their online exams

Three cadets at the time had assisted another cadet with passing his exam;

A training instructor had printed a written makeup exam and permitted two cadets who had failed the exam to return to their dorm rooms with the make exam and turn it in the next date.

The first allegation — that everyone had cheated on the exam — was made on Oct. 8. An investigation was opened a week later and two members of the 106th Trooper School “corroborated the allegation initially made,” DPS reported.


© 2020 USA Today