Entire Class Of New Georgia Troopers Fired Due To Academy Cheating Scandal

Holly Matkin

Investigators determined that every member of the Georgia State Patrol 106th Trooper School cheated on the exam.

Atlanta, Georgia – An entire class of recent Georgia State Patrol academy graduates were fired or resigned after investigators determined they had all cheated on an exam.

A total of 33 troopers graduated from the Georgia State Patrol 106th Trooper School on Aug. 16, 2019, WFXG reported.

They had spent 20 weeks at the academy, as well as 12 weeks in field training, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

In the months following their graduation, one trooper was previously dismissed, another resigned, and a third was on military leave, WFXG reported.

The remaining 30 troopers were fired after investigators determined that they cheated on an online Speed Detection Operator test, Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) Commissioner Colonel Mark McDonough confirmed on Wednesday.

The investigation into the cheating scandal began on Oct. 8, 2019, after the girlfriend of Trooper Demon Clark told DPS personnel that she took the online test for him, WJBF reported.

Upon confrontation, Trooper Clark confessed that he had cheated on the exam, but he also argued that the entire class had done the same thing.

The Office of Professional Standards (OPS) interviewed every member of the class over the weeks that followed, WFXG reported.

In the end, the OPS determined that each one of them cheated on the exam using notes, internet searches, and Snapchat groups.

They also received test answers from another cadet, as well as questions and answers that were posted online by a cadet, WFXG reported.

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

After graduating from the academy, the troopers were assigned to 52 posts throughout the state.

They wrote a total of 133 speeding tickets in the month that followed.

Col. McDonough said that notification of the troopers’ terminations has been sent to courts throughout Georgia, and that most of the citations the troopers issued will likely be dismissed, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The loss of manpower has been a major blow to the DPS.

“The impact, on average, can be three or four troopers per region,” Col. McDonough said, according to KDVR. “When you look at the size of the region, for instance, Troop I on the coast, that’s pretty much the whole coastal 100-plus miles and then inland.”

“You take three or four troopers…off the road and you see the distance of the interstate, [them] not being there can have an impact,” he added.

Investigating the cheating scandal also cost taxpayers at least $50,000, KDVR reported.

Comments (75)
No. 1-38
IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Why would you throw away your career by cheating on an online test that a non LEO could pass?

If they all cheated in the academy then termination is appropriate. Such an embarrassment

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

Damn. That's a grade "A" Blue Falcon. Couldn't just take his dismissal and move on.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

#needlistofnames

Marxest
Marxest

Oh my God, what a waste!!! I actually find this very disappointing. I understand that they were fired for cheating, lying and dishonesty but if it was up to me, I'm not sure I would have them fired. But I guess that was a serious infraction. I wish them the best.

Propolice
Propolice

Very sad. Sounds like this group wasn’t worth their salt from the start. Caught Cheating and then telling on each other like spoiled kids. Says a lot about the upbringing of today’s young folks😞

bryantrent
bryantrent

OMG

RJ0906
RJ0906

For those of you that cheated, Walmart has a position. Dumb ass

Anomie88
Anomie88

The academy training isn't cheap and a lot of money was squandered on these employees. If they cheat on an easy on-line exam, what will they do on the street? Let's face it, some larger departments cut corners in hiring to fill not only billets, but to fill quotas. I applaud the agency for announcing the scandal and not covering it up. Every LE agency needs to keep integrity in mind.

Raymelson
Raymelson

When law enforcement becomes dishonest it affects the whole U,N,S OF America an it destroys law enforcement ability to do there job because society doesn't trust them anymore

Blueknight47
Blueknight47

Kinda like our Politicians in DC. Such a Waste of time, money and needed resources. One More Black Eye to LEO!

asillyrabbit551
asillyrabbit551

it's the new millennials. They're too lazy and expect things for free. If the one guy got caught cheating a simple "yes I did." would have been enough, but now it's "but I wasn't the only one who did it."

NCRETIREDLEO
NCRETIREDLEO

Unbelievable. I retired in 2014 and started noticing the rookies coming in just didn’t have the work ethic. We had to fire one for texting during the final three week class before he was going to field training. He was told three times to stop in a one week period. These ex GA Troopers deserved to be fired. No room for dishonesty in Law Enf.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Something about this smells. Never in my life have I heard of an entire class cheating. This would make a good SNL skit, where the person interviewing asks prospective applicants if they would cheat on a test, if they didn't think they would get caught, then hired only those who would. Also, using the internet to find answers is a common practice in any online exam. I think the people who designed the exam, without proper control setting (a room devoid of cell phones, etc) like I had to take my Mortgage Loan Originator License test (NMLS) should be the ones responsible and the LEOs be given the chance to retake the test in a controlled setting.

Mic911
Mic911

Talk about being stupid, not only did they throw away their Georgia Patrol career but any chance of getting another LE job anywhere else!! If you cheat in the Academy, you will be tempted to not do the right thing in the field. State of Georgia should make them repay the monies they wasted on training them. Why should the taxpayers be on the hook? Termination was most definitely appropiate here!!

RetCanMilSpouse
RetCanMilSpouse

The worst part is that it was an easy test. Check out Officer401's video about it.

CanuckMedicCop
CanuckMedicCop

Once they cheated, while they may have remained employees of the State of Georgia, they ceased to be LEOs. Terminating them was more than appropriate....in so many situations, the only thing a Police Officer has is his/her credibility, and actions such as theirs undermines every LEO

Ghost_00000001
Ghost_00000001

double facepalm

PatP
PatP

Sad but most definitely appropriate!

ACSO-Charles-One
ACSO-Charles-One

OMG! They were white, black, brown, man, woman, Middle Eastern, damn a cross section of American millennials.

AUtigerfan
AUtigerfan

Paul Blart won't even hire these guys.

Serpico8881
Serpico8881

Sadly, they will be scooped up by the big city Democratic departments who take anybody that can breath and follow the commie administration orders!
Congratulations to the Georgia State Police for doing the right thing!

MizzV
MizzV

Since they cheated and that exam was part of the requirement to become a State trooper, why are they not having that status completely revoked and are back to being regular civilians?!

They should NEVER ne allowed to wear as badge, ever!

They've clearly shown when given an opportunity to break rules they certainly will do so!
What else will they do and how will they mistreat others since they obviously believe they're above the law!?!

skidrowvet
skidrowvet

Of all the stupid reasons to get fired- but as previously stated I can't (won't?) believe the entire class cheated- and why in the hell would the Academy even give an on-line exam if it was so damned important- If integrity was the point how could they quantify that? If that's the point why not just do the whole academy on line- sheeeesh-

lmr111702
lmr111702

Wow, imagine what all this is going to cost the state? 50K for the investigation is just a drop in the bucket. Their training costs the state a fortune. They ought to be made to pay the state back for what they cost it.

Girlwithgun
Girlwithgun

Having taught some specialized classes at an academy, I find it difficult to see why an academy would have an honors system for any testing. After graduating, yes, but to earn their certification, hell no. There's always a handful of students that shouldn't be Leo's. How are you going to weed them out if you present them an opportunity to making the grade via cheats. Shame on the school, apparently YOU dropped the ball.. I mean baton.

Rdhdkid
Rdhdkid

Make them all pay back every penny spent on them.

JCRPI
JCRPI

It's a good thing they were caught and fired this early as it minimizes the amount of damage they did. There is no room in law enforcement for this behavior. A peace officer's word MUST be TRUE!

rolltidefan
rolltidefan

I spent 36 years as a police officer and proudly retired without ever being accused of dishonesty. The police academy is the beginning of a law enforcement career. If a person cannot demonstrate honesty at this stage, what can be expected when he or she hits the street. A law enforcement career is full of times where ethical decisions have to be made. In fact, almost every day requires a police officer to make ethical decisions. Better to get caught for dishonesty at the beginning of a career than during. These people are most likely the product of the "ME generation", the people who are spoiled and not always held accountable for their actions. But, as mentioned above, most will be able to get another job at some agency with low standards, mainly because law enforcement does not attract the large number of recruits these days, and jobs are hard to fill. I am so happy that I got to be a police officers during those years where law enforcement was appreciated and respected. Back then, even the media gave us a fair shake.

Just-My-Thoughts.
Just-My-Thoughts.

Tax payer money down the toilet because of laziness. Good...They'd lie on the job too. Just a shame. Great way to start out folks.

Me55
Me55

If they don't have the morality not to cheat on a test then they definitely should not be enforcing laws.

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

I agree rolltidefan! Ditto for me being lucky to have served when we were respected and appreciated instead of now. What a stupid way to lose a very prestigious job. The State is lucky they caught this before the false arrest lawsuits etc. began to roll in.

Trefflek
Trefflek

If they cheat in the academy they will cheat and be dishonest in their job.

PhillyBlue
PhillyBlue

Rightfully dismissed, any lawyer worth his salt would dismantle any testimony given by these troopers based on their integrity issues

Wish505
Wish505

Jeesh, the whole class. Such a waste of resources. Guess they all will still get there 1st place trophy's.

RunCop
RunCop

Mmmmm.....Demon Clark..........

thansley330
thansley330

So let me get this right one cheater gets caught and he tells on all the other cheaters what a bunch of bs. First he needs his ass kicked for opening his mouth. But they all do deserve what they got fired because they should have not cheated it could not have been that hard to pass the test.

amlee
amlee

This is a sign of the times. Law enforcement is a dying profession and the ones that do join are not worth their salt.

UBU
UBU

Given the long and worn out dysfunctional & egotistical history throughout the GSP and the DPS leadership over the GSP, this cheating debacle is unfortunately no surprise to those who pay attention in Georgia. GSP Trooper School leadership for that 106th class simply failed.
Thankfully former GSP Col. Mark McDonough and his cronies have since resigned under pressure from Governor Kemp. Bye Bye and thank you very little.
This entire State embarrassment was brought to light by an Atlanta, GA investigative news team not the professional standards unit at GSP. If it had been left up to those folks (all under the command of now dismissed Mark McDonough) this BS would have never scene the light of day.
Perhaps this long awaited & needed changing of the guard from the top down will truly refocus and humble GSP/DPS?


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