Update: Entire 106th Class of GSP Troopers class fired

Press release from Georgia Department of Public Safety

Update

In a press release following the news conference announcing the firing of the entire 106th graduating class of the GSP Troopers. This was specifically related to an investigation into potential cheating of the entire class of the online examination for the Speed Detection Operator component of the trooper school curriculum. The Georgia Department of Public Safety reports that the investigation found the allegations to be true, hence Wednesday morning’s public dismissals.

The GDPS gave the timeline in this investigation 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.

The GDPS went on to note that during the 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. GDPS reports that since that time, one trooper resigned, one trooper was previously dismissed, and one trooper is on military leave – leaving 30 members who were dismissed on Wednesday.

Update

At a press conference on Wednesday, the Georgia Department of Public Safety announced that it had fired the entire 106th Class of Georgia State Troopers after a finding that the class had allegedly cheated on speed detection exams. This class included Nicholas Hawkins of Walton County who had been awarded Top Gun at the August 16th graduation as well as Trooper Rebecca Moran of Gwinnett County, who was assigned to GSP Post 51 in Gwinnett County and recognized for her leadership in Sergeant-at-Arms. Hawkins had been assigned to GSP Post 46 in Walton County. 

The AJC is reporting that the internal investigation that began in October 2019 was prompted by a tip from a woman who had previously been involved with one of the fired troopers. Officials are currently looking into what will happen with any tickets that were written by any troopers from this now-fired class. Reportedly 133 tickets had been written by members of this class by the time they were fired. The graduates had been assigned to posts throughout the state.

Initial Story

Trooper Nicholas Hawkins. Contributed photo

(FORSYTH) – The Georgia State Patrol graduated its 106th Trooper School on Friday, August 16, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) in Forsyth and a Walton County resident, Trooper Nicholas Hawkins, graduated Top Gun. He also earned the highest Academic Average for which he received a $1,000 scholarship towards a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Reinhardt University. Another local graduate, Trooper Rebecca Moran of Gwinnett County, has been assigned to GSP Post 51 in Gwinnett County. She was recognized for her leadership in Sergeant-at-Arms.Hawkins has been assigned to GSP Post 46 in Monroe. Moran had been assigned to Post 51 in Gwinnett County. 

Trooper Rebecca Moran. Contributed photo

According to a press release on the latest graduates, after 32 weeks of intense training, the 33 new troopers are assigned to one of the 52 posts throughout the state. Gov. Brian P. Kemp was the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony and he also issued the Oath of Office. Other speakers included Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and Capt. Joshua Lamb, Director of Training.
 
Before graduating as troopers, the cadets spend 20 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks in-field training. The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) requires all peace officers receive a minimum of 400 hours of Basic Mandate Training. The newly graduated troopers had received over 1,500 hours of training, including driving, defensive tactics, vehicle stops, Spanish, criminal law and criminal procedure, firearms, accident investigation, and various other training.
 
“It was an honor to go through this tough challenge of life together and I wish you all the best in your careers wherever it may lead you,” said class president Trooper Jerry Slade during remarks to his fellow class members. “We’re right where we need to be.”

Trooper Kyle Thompson was recognized for top honors in driving proficiency and Trooper Clarence Johnson in firearms proficiency. Additionally, the following graduates were recognized for their leadership: Trooper Erik Austell, Vice President; Trooper David Allan, Secretary/Treasurer; Trooper Patrick Pollett, Chaplain; and Trooper Evan Joyner, Pennant Bearer.

106th Graduating Georgia State Patrol Troopers. Contributed photo

The following were all the assignments of all the graduates from the GSP 106th Trooper School.

 

TROOPER HOME COUNTY POST ASSIGNMENT
Erguens Accilien Columbia Post 21 – Sylvania
David Allan Hall Post 6 – Gainesville
Jalin Anderson Richmond Post 33 – Milledgeville
Erik Austell Bibb Post 15 – Perry
Evan Bauza Chatham Post 11 – Hinesville
Logan Beck Camden Post 23 – Brunswick
Christopher Cates Rabun Post 27 – Blue Ridge
Seferino Chavez Clayton Post 47 – Forest Park
Demon Clark Greene Post 17 – Washington
Christopher Cordell Catoosa Post 5 – Dalton
Clint Donaldson Coweta Post 49 – Motor Unit
Eric Guerrero Coffee Post 36 – Douglas
Jonathan Hayes Paulding Post 29 – Paulding
Nicholas Hawkins Walton Post 46 – Monroe
Bradley Hunt Muscogee  Post 2 – LaGrange
Clarence Johnson Richmond Post 25 – Grovetown
Evan Joyner Muscogee Post 2 – LaGrange
Richard Justice Columbia Post 25 – Grovetown
Malcolm Martinez Cobb Post 47 – Forest Park
Rebecca Moran Gwinnett Post 51 – Gwinnett
Paul Osuegbu Barrow Post 6 – Gainesville
Jose Perez Colquitt Post 13 – Tifton
Patrick Pollett Columbia Post 25 – Grovetown
Troy Pudder Houston Post 30 – Cordele
Caleb Pyle Coweta Post 24 – Newnan
Daysi Ramirez Houston Post 15 – Perry
Gabriel Rampy Carroll Post 4 – Villa Rica
Adam Salter Pike Post 26 – Thomaston
Jerry Slade Crisp Post 30 – Cordele
Kyle Thompson Berrien Post 36 – Douglas
James Vaughan Sumter Post 10 – Americus
Brian Whelehan Bryan Post 23 – Brunswick
Kelley Whitaker Miller Post 14 – Colquitt

 

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