15 Cleveland Police Recruits Fired After Cheating Investigation

Fifteen Cleveland police recruits were fired Friday after an internal investigation found the group cheated during their police academy training.

Cleveland police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia confirmed the firings on Monday. The city and police department have not yet addressed the investigation or firings.

The cheating accusations are related to notebooks the recruits are required to keep as part of their Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy certification training. The 15 recruits were accused of sharing and copying notes.

The notebooks are inspected, and recruits are required to take detailed notes. They are judged on content, neatness and formatting.

A lawsuit filed by nine of the 15 says the recruits are encouraged to copy, verbatim, wording that is used in class presentations. They are also encouraged to work together, and help under-performing recruits, including by sharing notes, the lawsuit says.

The 66-recruit class began its courses Feb. 5. The investigation began in July, when a recruit “accessed and copied from another student’s electronic notes without permission,” the lawsuit says.

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