Get Prepped! Don’t Cheat!

Keeping an ear out for cheaters

By JOE WARMINGTON, Toronto Sun

http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/joe_warmington/2011/02/24/17400126.html

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This Toronto copper probably won’t be making the sergeant’s list this year.

And after the stunt he is alleged to have attempted to pull Sunday, he may never.

But he sure gave it his best shot.

Did you hear the one about the 13 Division constable who tried to cheat on his promotional test with the help from someone relaying answers from outside?

“He was wired in the exam room and his girlfriend was in the parking lot with an electronic device giving the ill-prepared writer of the exam the right answers,” said a police source.

It’s out of James Bond. Or, perhaps Maxwell Smart is more accurate.

Just like in the movies, sources said, the copper was wearing an earpiece and was in touch with a woman who is a police officer in 32 Division. She was in her car on her lap top computer and verbally transmitting information from a study packet.

But even the smartest plans have their glitches.

“Canadian National Exhibition security people were outside keeping an eye on the police officer’s cars when they picked up a strange frequency,” a police source said.

Uh-oh.

Quick thinking CNE security spotted the woman and immediately alerted senior officers. But the big question was who was the fellow deceiver?

Believed to be on the second floor of the Queen Elizabeth Building, inside the CNE grounds, senior officers went to work to find him, although it was not as easy as one might think.

“The signal being transmitted between them was picked up so the exam monitors attempted to identify the writer of the exam and in doing so, removed the wrong person,” said the source.

Oops.

“They took the poor guy out of the room and he was pretty embarrassed,” said a colleague. “It’s not easy to go back and write a test after something like that.”

Soon after they quickly zeroed in on the actual alleged scammer.

One source said both are back at work and under investigation by the services’ professional standards branch. Another said the male officer has been suspended with pay.

“The Toronto Police Service does not comment on internal disciplinary investigations,” explained TPS communications coordinator George Christopoulos.

But some members of the service have called saying that if this happened as described, they want the book thrown at them.

“Officers trying to advance fair and square are appalled,” said one copper. “They are disgusted.”

If it wasn’t so despicable it would be hilarious. But police officers are not laughing — the constable who was originally and wrongfully blamed in particular.

It’s not the image the Toronto Police needs at a time when it’s reeling from post-G20 credibility problems and when officers are before the courts for everything from assaults to attempted murder.

You’d expect every person writing the sergeant’s exam to have their integrity intact. Sources say the officer in question has written the test before and “scored very well but did not do as well during the interview process.”

It’s not as easy to hide the earpiece in a one on one, I guess.

One copper, who wants the those involved to hand in their badges, made the point “if they will cheat on something like this what else would they cheat on?”

But will they be fired?

Maybe they’ll be back to work one day and try to convict you of something.

But if this cop ever gets another shot at a promotion exam — and that can’t be likely — they’ll probably take a look in his ear before he sits down to write it.