Police cadet test scores under investigation

Posted at: 02/05/2013 9:57 PM
Updated at: 02/05/2013 10:37 PM
By: Gadi Schwartz, KOB Eyewitness News 4

They were the highest grades the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy had ever seen. One cadet class outscoring the last six years of cadet classes combined. And it's a statistical anomaly that the Law Enforcement Academy Director refuses to explain.

Last year, an anonymous tipster asked 4 On Your Side to look into recent test scores at the states’ Law Enforcement Academy, which trains police officers for departments across the state. 

A request for the last six years of final exam scores showed out of over 400 cadets to take the test only 25 received above a 90%.

But in academy class #183, 37 cadets scored above a 90. Around the same time 4OYS was asked to look into the scores, a crime stoppers tip was called into a state hotline alleging misconduct by instructors during the exams, but the States Department of Public Safety has refused to disclose exactly what the CrimeStopper tip alleged.

A redacted report in August of 2012 released through a public records request shows an independent panel consisting of an Albuquerque Police officer, a Rio Rancho Police officer and a Bloomfield Police officer was convened to investigate the allegations made in the tip.

According to the report, the instructors told the panel that no preferential treatment or answers were provided to the cadets. However the report failed to mention any instance of the panel asking cadets about what went on during their testing and did not compare class test scores with the scores of prior cadet classes.

4 On Your Side's attempts to reach a Lieutenant on the panel were denied by APD and referred to the Department of Public Safety.

At a graduation for the most recent cadet class, the Department of Public Safety Cabinet Secretary told 4OYS that there was nothing wrong with the final scores for class #183.

"Learning is an individual experience and sometimes some groups do better than other groups," said Eden.

After Eden spoke with 4OYS, the Director of New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy, Louis Medina agreed to an on camera interview, But when 4 On Your Side arrived for the appointment Medina said the interview had been cancelled based on the advice of their legal counsel.

Sources have confirmed to 4OYS that the Attorney General’s office is now investigating.