ATLANTA — A cheating scandal wiped out the entire Georgia State Patrol trooper class of August 2019. The GSP Commander said today he fired more than two dozen troopers who were involved.
Officials say the 30 troopers were all graduates of their 106th trooper school. A press release from the Department of Public Safety says all members of the cadet class cheated on the the speed detection operator exam.
"It's a punch in the gut," said Col. Mark McDonough with the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
McDonough spoke in a news conference to explain how the investigation began in October 2019.
"The initial complaint came to us by a citizen who had a relationship with a former cadet and the allegation was made that cheating had occurred with that individual," said McDonough.
He says the trooper who was disciplined said there were others involved.
The release says other allegations include, a cadet who helped another cadet on the exam, three cadets who helped another with their exam, and a training instructor who printed a makeup exam and let two cadets take it back to their rooms to study.
"My initial reaction is to completely move away from any type of online instruction and that all of our instruction will occur by instructors in the classroom with what's supposed to be proctored exams," said McDonough.
McDonough says the cadets at the time used Snapchat at GroupMe to post test answers.
"But also to get their stories straight before the investigation started," said McDonough.
Five of the troopers worked in Central Georgia.
"This goes to our very core values, and so it is something that is difficult to swallow," said McDonough.
Some of the troopers worked at posts in Perry, Cordele, and Milledgeville, according to GSP.
Colonel McDonough says he asked the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council to do a complete audit of their training department.
He also said other staff members could face some type of disciplinary action.
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