HARRISBURG – Dozens of state police cadets have been implicated in the Pennsylvania State Police investigation of cheating, it was revealed Wednesday.
In testimony during a Senate budget hearing, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Tyree Blocker confirmed 29 cadets either resigned or were dismissed directly as a result of cheating going on at the academy.
“We will not leave any stone unturned when it comes to the integrity of the Pennsylvania State Police,” Blocker said. “There's a combination of being dismissed and resigning. They chose to resign and that's what we honored.”
Still unknown is how exactly the cheating took place, but Blocker says an academy staffer identified what was going on, setting in motion an investigation that continues.
"We do not see where there are any troopers from the academy staff that were involved in the investigation," he said. “That speaks clearly to our core values. We won't tolerate anyone that lies, cheats, or steals.”
The academy class started with 116 cadets, but with 29 of them caught in the cheating scandal and 18 others dropping out for other reasons, there are 69 left for now on track to complete the academy next month.
But with at least one-quarter of the academy's class now gone because of this cheating scandal, some security observers worry about how they can be replaced going forward.
“If you're going to have public trust in law enforcement, you expect the people that are in it to be able to police themselves,” Steven Wheeler, a law enforcement consultant, said. “The recruitment process, the vetting process, getting them in those seats in the police academy is going to take them awhile before they can fill those vacancies.”