State Police Commissioner issues statement on cheating at Academy

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Tyree Blocker

HARRISBURG, PA – Until now, State Police have not officially acknowledged a cheating scandal at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy that came to light after an anonymous tipster called several media outlets in the Commonwealth. Now we know the investigation goes back to December of last year.

Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Tyree Blocker finally issued a statement today in which he shed some light on the situation. Blocker says Internal Affairs at the State Police initiated a full and comprehensive investigation into suspected cheating at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy at the end of December. The investigation includes dozens of interviews and an extensive collection of evidence. Blocker asked the public for patience and assured accountability and “swift and certain discipline” for those who cheated.

Blocker’s statement is included here, in full:

“I take very seriously my role as the head of the Pennsylvania State Police, and my commitment to ensuring every single Trooper, including myself, upholds our core values.

We are committed to upholding the honor of the force by providing honest and faithful police service to all who may be in danger or distress. We believe integrity is character in action. We are morally and ethically aware, resolute, and above reproach at all times regardless of our duty status.

“We must solemnly value the trust that has been placed in us by those we are sworn to serve, and we are committed to holding ourselves to a higher standard of accountability to continually earn their respect each and every day. 

“For over a century, the Pennsylvania State Police has earned the trust of the Commonwealth. The people of Pennsylvania rely on our Troopers to keep them safe across the Commonwealth, and they trust them to act with the utmost integrity and honor.

“Any action that challenges this bond is completely unacceptable, and I will do everything in my authority to hold any individual who undermines our core values accountable. Those who compromise our core values will receive no sympathy or respite from me.

“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. 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. Each cadet who enters the Academy is held to an honor code to never cheat, lie or steal, and we will ensure that the integrity of our organization of nearly 5,000 strong is not compromised by the actions of a few.

“We will hold those responsible accountable because we owe the truth to both the people of Pennsylvania and those cadets in our 144th class who did not violate our code of honor and will go on to protect and serve the people of Pennsylvania, as do thousands of Troopers who serve Pennsylvania every single day with honor, integrity, and trust.

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

“Furthermore, members of the 144th class who graduate will be individuals who uphold our core values and pledge to serve Pennsylvania with honor, integrity, and trust. No actions by a small group of individuals can ever undermine a century of tradition built by our Troopers and I am confident that those graduating in March will continue to build on our proud traditions and serve the Commonwealth with the utmost honor, integrity, and trust.

“The State Police does not comment on individual personnel matters, and additional statements will not be provided until the conclusion of the investigation.”