Chief disciplines three APD Officers after test video - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Chief disciplines three APD Officers after test video

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February 25, 2008

Albany -- Three Albany Police Officers are disciplined following an investigation into suspected cheating on an examination inside the Law Enforcement Center.   The Police Chief says there is no indication that the Officers did actually cheat, but the fact that they were talking during the exam made it look like it.

The surveillance video from January 18th shows, as Albany Police Officers finish a written test on criminal procedure, Night watch Commander Captain Johnny Jones, a 30 year veteran, stops at the desk and talks with Lt. Wendy Luster, a supervisor in the Uniform Division.

After some conversation, Jones walks back to his test paper, looks it over, and then walks back by Luster and speaks again.  Chief James Younger said "that conduct in and by itself gives the appearance of impropriety."  

In a few moments, Sgt. Edward Heath, a 20 year veteran, walks up and talks with Luster, returns to his test paper, talks to Luster again, and then leaves. Later that day Chief James Younger was informed of the possible cheating, and launched an internal investigation.

Monday, he announced that investigation determined there was no cheating.  Younger said "there was no indication that anyone changed any answers as a result of the conversation that went on during the exam."  

But the Chief said two of the Officers made matters worse during the Investigation. Younger said "during the course of the Investigation there were two Officers who were not immediately forthcoming, when asked questions about the examination."

Captain Johnny Jones decided to retire rather than accept discipline. Sergeant Edward Heath will be demoted to Corporal. The Chief said Lt. Wendy Luster was forthcoming during the examination, so she was suspended ten days without pay.

Chief James Younger said these penalties were harsher than in past cases because the Officers are all supervisors, and he is sending a message to his entire department. "That Officers make the right choice, even when nobody is looking. And that they be forthright and candid regardless of the consequences."

Chief Younger said examinations like these will continue on a regular basis at the Albany Police Department.

Chief Younger during the news conference complimented Captain Jones on his 30 years of service to the City of Albany, and said he will be allowed to retire March 7th.

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