Two Duquesne police officers notified they face decertification

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Two Duquesne police officers have received notice that they could be decertified after a months-long probe into alleged cheating during an exam earlier this year, the city's police chief confirmed Thursday.

Duquesne police Chief Richard Adams would not name the officers or their ranks, but said they remain employed pending an appeals process.

Asked if it was his understanding that the letters allege that the two officers cheated on their recertification exams, the chief said: "Yeah, that's what I would assume."

The Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission, a state police organization that sets certification and training standards for municipal police officers in the state, mailed the letters last month. Earlier this year, the commission began investigating allegations that multiple officers from Western Pennsylvania cheated on the recertification exams.

Maria A. Finn, a spokeswoman for the state police, said Thursday that decertification letters had been sent to three officers. She described it as an initial step.

“Until this is final we can’t release any further information – as it is an ongoing investigation,” she said in an email.

She did not specify which police departments were involved.

​State police officials have declined to elaborate on how the alleged cheating occurred.

Chief Adams said he hadn't read the decertification letters and learned about them about a week ago after he called to the commission to confirm rumors that his officers received such notice.

If an appeal is unsuccessful, the two officers would be stripped of their certification. Ms. Finn said an officer who is decertified may apply for reconsideration after one year.

Three officers from Duquesne's police department were scheduled to speak to the state police in February as part of "administrative interviews" being conducted in connection to the alleged scandal, Chief Adams said at the time.

Duquesne's police force is made up of 14 full-time officers, including the chief.

First Published July 10, 2014 12:00 AM


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