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.
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.
(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.
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.
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|