Recruits at the state police academy in Burien broke a rule when they shared study guides between classes, but the violations didn’t rise to the level of cheating or dishonesty, according to preliminary results of a Washington State Patrol investigation.
The result, which revealed sloppy test practices, relate to one class of recruits that was allowed to graduate today, with all 29 recruits receiving a written reprimand that will be provided to their respective law-enforcement agencies to consider further action.
The investigation will be completed over the next two weeks into 29 recruits in a second class also implicated in the matter, the academy said in a statement released today by Executive Director Sue Rahr, of the Basic Law Enforcement Academy.
Rahr asked the State Patrol to look into allegations of cheating after a recruit came forward three weeks ago and reported that recruits in two of three classes were sharing material from a computer thumb drive — a small, portable data-storage device — containing information from a study guide. The guide included test questions and answers for multiple exams, the academy said.
The State Patrol, which runs its own training academy, was asked to conduct the investigation to avoid any conflict of interest.
While the findings apply to one class of recruits, they also appear to cover the second class, Rahr said in an email.
The investigation made it clear that the questions and answers were legitimately obtained by the recruits when training officers conducted “overly specific” review sessions in the days before tests were administered, according to the academy’s statement.
Training officers discussed actual test questions and answers, the statement said. Recruits took verbatim notes on their laptop computers and added material to class study guides that was electronically stored by various means, including thumb drives.
These practices were “not a good training method” and have been stopped, the statement said.