15 Pa. officers sanctioned in cheating scandal

March 11, 2011 1:04:01 PM PST
A state police organization stripped certifications from 15 officers on Thursday following an investigation into cheating on a training exam, officials said.

The Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission removed the certifications from the officers over alleged cheating on a recertification exam given in February 2009 in Delaware County.

Officials told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the investigation began when two officers received the answers to questions on a routine recertification test from one of the disciplined officers. Those officers reported the e-mail to their chief, who passed the information on to investigators.

The officer who allegedly passed on the answers, Sean Gallagher, was fired from his job with the police department in Oxford, Chester County. A phone listing for him could not immediately be located Friday.

The decertified officers belonged to eight departments in Delaware and Chester counties. Four worked for Darby Borough and three for Upland Borough in Delaware County; the heads of both departments did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

State Police Maj. John Gallaher, who heads the education and training commission, said the test is a straightforward exam that must be passed every two years. If officers do not pass the test, they get a second chance.

"The worst thing that would happen is that you'd have to take the course again," Gallaher told the Inquirer.

An attorney for 12 of the officers told the Delaware County Daily Times he will file an appeal with Commonwealth Court.