January 30, 2020–6:08 a.m.
GEORGIA DPS NEWS RELEASE
Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, announced disciplinary action taken against 30 members of the Georgia State Patrol following an investigation by the Office of Professional Standards (OPS) for the Department of Public Safety. The disciplinary action was their immediate dismissal from the department.
The action follows an investigation that the troopers, all members of the 106th Georgia State Patrol Trooper School, cheated on an online examination for the Speed Detection Operator component of the trooper school curriculum.The investigation found the allegations to be true and the dismissals were made this morning.
The timeline in this investigation is as follows:
- On October 8, 2019, an allegation was made that everyone in the school had cheated during the online examination for the Speed Detection Operator course.
- An investigation was opened on October 15.
- Office of Professional Standards investigators conducted interviews with two members of the 106th School who corroborated the allegation initially made.
- Between October 25 and November 13, investigators interviewed the remaining troopers who had graduated from the 106th Trooper School regarding the allegation.
- The investigation concluded earlier this month leading to the dismissals this morning.
The allegations and the findings are as follows:
- Allegation #1: That everyone in the 106th Trooper School cheated on the Speed Detection Operator Exam. That allegation was sustained as the remaining members and each former cadet disclosed they had cheated and described the method or methods utilized to cheat.
- Allegation #2: That a cadet at the time had helped other cadets with their online exams. That allegation was also sustained.
- Allegation #3: That three cadets at the time had assisted another cadet with passing his exam. That allegation was sustained.
- Allegation #4: That 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 makeup exam and to turn it in the next date. That was also sustained.
During the OPS investigation, 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. Additionally, two Snapchat group chats were created which included several members of the class.
There were 33 graduates of the 106th Trooper School on August 16, 2019.
Since graduation, one trooper resigned, one trooper was previously dismissed, and one trooper is on military leave – leaving 30 members who were dismissed today.