Cop job piques interest of 331 after cheating scandal

Yolanda Rodriguez; Staff
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Copyright 2006 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Despite a cheating scandal at Cobb's police training academy, 331 people have applied for the job.

That's 10 times the number who expressed an interest in becoming a cop in May, the last time Cobb County took applications for police officers. Thirty-one people applied then.

A couple of people who have spoken to Cobb's human resources staff said they liked the county's strict standards, said spokesman Robert Quigley.

The spike may also be because of a new recruiting tool the county is using --- --- to attract applicants outside of Cobb.

The application window is opened for 30 days whenever Cobb schedules a police test, the first step in becoming a cop. The deadline for applying was Friday.

The county gave the written exam on Tuesday.

It is the first hurdle for would-be police officers. People who pass the exam move to the next stage --- initial interviews and background checks.

The number of applicants is "some good news in a difficult situation," Quigley said.

Cobb officials fired all 20 members of Recruit Class 17 this month after an investigation of cheating. The investigation started after an instructor walked into a testing room and saw two students discussing the exam. After the investigation, county officials said most of the recruits admitted to cheating on previous tests.

Cobb's public safety director, Mickey Lloyd, offered name clearing hearings to seven of the recruits last Friday. After the hearings, county officials said that the seven recruits would not be reinstated.

Most other class members have retained attorneys to help them get their jobs back. Last week they called for an investigation into how the training academy is run.

Also last week, five trainees at the North Central Georgia Law Enforcement Academy were dismissed for cheating on an open book exam.

They were employees of the Marietta and Kennesaw police departments, the Cobb sheriff's office and the Paulding County Marshal Bureau.

The Marietta recruit resigned. The Kennesaw and Paulding County recruits were fired.

The sheriff's employee resigned just before a scheduled termination hearing.

The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, which certifies law enforcement officers, is investigating both incidents.


Number of Cobb County Police recruitment applications during 2006:

* January: 171

* March: 100

* May: 31

* August: 331

SOURCE: Cobb County 

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