Pa. State Police Investigating Alleged Cheating by Cadets

Troopers from previous classes are suspected of providing test answers to the current class of cadets. An investigation is ongoing.

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Members of the Pennsylvania State Police’s current class of cadets could be in a lot of trouble.

Yesterday state Police Commissioner Tyree Blocker confirmed what ABC 27 and the Inquirer reported earlier in the week: Perhaps dozens of cadets of the 144th class, scheduled to graduate in March, are under investigation for cheating on an academic exam. Past graduates of the state police academy are suspected of giving the answers to current cadets.

“At the end of December 2015, Internal Affairs at the State Police promptly initiated a full and comprehensive investigation into suspected cheating at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy,” Blocker said in a statement. “This investigation has already included dozens of interviews and an extensive collection of evidence through all available means.

“As the leader of this agency, I assure the people of Pennsylvania that we will leave no stone unturned and those who engaged in such behavior face swift and certain discipline. I will make sure that each and every person involved is held accountable on behalf of our Troopers — active and retired — who have built the Pennsylvania State Police into the respected organization it is today.”

ABC 27, the Harrisburg station that first reported the story, said cadets of previous classes allegedly went through a handbook and highlighted material that was in a test. Someone turned that highlighting into notes — a cheat sheet, essentially — which a cadet this year accidentally left behind somewhere, sources told the station. The PSP apparently had not been changing tests from year to year.

State Police said they would not offer additional comment until the investigation was over. They did not give a timeframe.

“The State Police asks for the public’s patience throughout the remainder of this comprehensive, ongoing, internal investigation, as the agency is dedicated to ensuring each person allegedly involved is fairly and properly adjudicated,” Blocker’s statement continued. “To that end, the agency also stresses that not every cadet who has departed from the 144th class is necessarily implicated in the investigation.”

Gov. Tom Wolf commented on the investigation at a press conference earlier this week.

“It’s a personnel matter, and I won’t comment on that,” Wolf said. “But to the extent that it’s true — that there was cheating — we can’t tolerate that. That is absolutely unacceptable, and I won’t tolerate it.”

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