The investigation has taken more than a year and most, if not all, the local cops in question have been represented by FOP lawyer Skip Miller.
I talked to him about this back in December when there was a rumor circulating that the cops would be decertified before Christmas.
In explaining the case, Miller downplayed the importance of the test and the reason it is given. He said the exercise isn’t really about testing what a cop knows about doing his job, but how well the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission does its training.
According to Miller, MPOETC’s stated goal for giving the test is to “be sure their curriculum is correctly presented.” In other words, the test is more for the teachers than it is for the students. (Of course, the problem with that line of argument is that if the students cheat, it deprives the test givers the chance to achieve their goal of knowing how well they presented the subject matter.)
Miller added that if a cop fails the test, he can take it again and again and again until he passes it. So why cheat on it?
I don't know, but laziness sounds about right.
Miller said there is no definitive proof that any "his guys" actually cheated or intended to cheat on the exam. But MPOETC came to a different conclusion.
The agency's only stated function is to certify and re-certify police officers across the state, supposedly to take sure they have the most up-to-date training required by law. MPOETC's testing procedure may be a joke, but that doesn't mean cops can send each other the answers to the tests in advance of taking them, any more than we are allowed to drive 85 m.p.h. on the Blue Route.
The difference is if we do get caught speeding, we get a ticket. We don't have our livelihoods taken away from us. And yet MPOETC makes it quite clear in it's rules and regulations, cheating is grounds for de-certification.
From MPOETC's website:
Revocation of certification.Some officers have already lost their jobs over this. It looks like more are on the way out as well.
(a) The Commission maintains the right to revoke certification after notice and an opportunity to be heard under Subchapter G (relating to notice and hearings) for one or more of the following:
(1) Failure to maintain employment as a police officer under the act.
(2) Failure to maintain first aid or CPR certification.
(3) Failure to qualify with firearms as specified in the Commission newsletter.
(4) Failure to successfully complete annual mandatory in-service training as specified in the Commission newsletter.
(5) Physical or psychological impairment which renders the officer permanently unable to perform his duties.
(6) Conviction for a disqualifying criminal offense.
(7) Submission to the Commission of a document that the police officer knows contains false information including fraudulent application.
(8) A certification issued in error.