EXCLUSIVE: HPD fires recruits, reassigns officers after cheating scandal
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Police Department has fired three police recruits and reassigned officers after a scandal that rocked the police academy.
The recruits are accused of getting the questions for upcoming tests.
In a letter to the three recruits, HPD Chief Louis Kealoha said, "There was sufficient evidence to support the allegation that you cheated on an examination."
Sources say that one of the recruits, a female, was dating an HPD sergeant. That sergeant is now under investigation for providing test questions to the recruit, who shared them with others during a study session.
"The academy did its job. It rooted out this characteristic," says University of Hawaii Criminology instructor and former police officer Aaron Hunger.
Hunger added that the decision to fire recruits so close to graduation must have been a difficult one.
"A department usually has invested a lot of money, but here clearly ... nobody wants a police officer writing them tickets, or having a gun, or going on patrol who's cheated their way through the entire academy."
Each recruit is paid $5,386 per month during training. And the class was just weeks from graduation.
Recruits are not protected by the police union so terminating them is not a difficult process.
In a statement to Hawaii News Now, HPD Deputy Chief Marie McCauley said that the department will let go of any recruit "who received an unfair advantage over his or her fellow classmates.
"The HPD does not tolerate this type of activity. Our goal is to train the best and brightest officers without compromising integrity."
The sergeant involved in the case, who is in the police union, has been reassigned while the investigation continues.
The major over the training division when this scandal broke has also been reassigned.
Sources say that one of the three recruits fired might actually have been the whistleblower, reporting it to the staff after realizing some of the questions on the exam were the same ones provided in the study group. That recruit is working to get his job back.
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