Cheating scandal cancels firefighter academy graduation - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Cheating scandal cancels firefighter academy graduation

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Fourteen students in a Las Vegas Fire and Rescue academy class will not graduate following an investigation into a cheating scandal.

The alleged cheating involved a written test. The fire academy graduation had been scheduled for Feb. 14. It was suspended pending the investigation. Now those students will not be certified.

The city will now begin recruiting another fire academy and will establish a plan to cover the loss of 14 graduates.

"The city is not going to compromise the quality of its service nor the character or integrity of our organization," said Chief Public Safety Officer Karen Coyne. "Integrity is a core value of our organization, and we took these allegations very seriously."

The city said cheating suspicion arose because of numerous similarities in answers on the written portion of an exam. Everyone who took and administered the test is being investigated.

The 14 recruits could reapply to join the department but would have to begin the process from scratch. They would have to be reselected, qualify for the academy and take the 18-week course over again.

The city additionally said the department will have to increase its overtime because those recruits were needed a month ago.

In order to fill the void, the city is considering holding what is referred to as a lateral academy, which would be filled with students who have experience in firefighting and medicine. The academy would take between nine and 10 weeks to complete. The city would need at least 14 experienced applicants for such an academy to be held.

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