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City Won't Certify Fire Academy Class After Cheating Scandal | News

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City Won't Certify Fire Academy Class After Cheating Scandal
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LAS VEGAS -- The City of Las Vegas announced Tuesday it will not certify the latest class from the Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Academy.

The decision comes after an investigation into the possibility of cheating. The entire 14-member class will not move forward with graduation. The city says it is coming up with a plan to cover the loss of the 14 new members of the department.

"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."

Las Vegas spokesman David Riggleman said the cheating was discovered because the answers on the recruits' tests were very similar.

Because integrity is a key value of the academy, none of the recruits were allowed to move forward, he said. He added that steps are being taken to make sure that cheating doesn't happen again.

The class was supposed to graduate Feb. 14, but the graduation was suspended after the state Fire Marshal Division expressed concerns about possible cheating on the written portion of the testing process.

The city receives 500 applications for the academy, he said. To replace the recruits, Riggleman said the city will look at those who already have some firefighting or emergency medical experience for the next academy in an attempt to move that batch of recruits through more quickly.

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