DUQUESNE, Pa. - While police officers’ sworn duty is to search out crime and keep the public safe, one Duquesne officer apparently got hold of answers to a test officers need to take to keep their badge and passed them along to his peers.
Target 11’s Rick Earl learned that this apparent cheating scandal began when an officer apparently texted the answers to other officers. One of those officers turned him in, prompting an investigation.
Police said three officers from the city of Duquesne are among 36 who will be interviewed by state police officials investigating the allegations that some officers cheated on recertification tests.
“The Pennsylvania State Police are conducting administrative interviews. Once those interviews are concluded, and the necessary facts are available, necessary action will be taken,” said Duquesne Police Chief Richard Adams.
Target 11 also learned that two officers from North Versailles will be interviewed this week. The officers in question took classes at the Wilkins Township municipal building in January as part of their annual training.
For the training, officers must take four three-hour classes. After each class, they’re given 10 multiple choice questions and must score at least a seven out of 10 to pass.
Sources told Target 11 that one of the officers obtained the answers prior to the tests and texted the answers to other officers.
According to Adams, it is relatively easy to pass the test.
“If you pay attention, it should be no problem at all,” said Adams.
Trooper Adam Reed, a state police spokesman, said the officers involved with this possible cheating scandal could be subject to sanctions or decertification.
"This could mean a temporary suspension or even loss of their Act 120 certification," said Reed.
Loss of that certification would essentially prohibit the person from serving as a police officer any longer.
While the three officers in question at Duquesne wait to be interviewed next week, they remain on the job.
Fifteen officers in the eastern part of Pennsylvania lost their jobs during a similar scandal five years ago.