by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:
CUMMING, Ga. - The agency that regulates Georgia's law enforcement officers says hundreds of officers lied about the hours they spent on the state's online training system.
A glitch in the Georgia Public Safety Training Center's online training courses enabled some officers to fast forward through courses, getting credit for training they had skipped.
"It's scamming the training; scamming the online training. It's flying through it and not doing it,” said Ken Vance, director of the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.
Vance says they first detected the glitch in March.
"The more we looked the bigger it got,” Vance told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.
Vance said POST discovered 500 officers statewide had taken advantage of the glitch.
"They were doing an hour’s worth of training in like six to eight minutes," Vance said.
As the state began detecting discrepancies, so did local departments including Cumming police.
"I noticed a discrepancy in the duration of the course versus the amount of time that was spent logged into the course,” said Lt. Bryan Zimbardi, who oversees Cumming officer’s training.
"Being a speedy test taker would not net you the result that I saw,” said Zimbardi.
Zimbardi says of the department’s 15 sworn officers, “several” had engaged in this ethics violation.
"They were suspended without pay,” he said. “They were suspended hour for hour. So for instance, someone who had inappropriately received 12 hours of training credit was suspended for 12 hours."
Vance says in some departments, the training violation cost officers their jobs.
"Why don't they get it, that ethics is at the core of everything they do?" Vance asked.
POST says 500 may sound like a lot, but they say that's a very small percentage of all sworn officers in the state of Georgia.
POST says the glitch in the system has been addressed and fixed.