New York – NYPD Promotional Exam Cheating Scandal Widens


    FILE - New York Police Department graduates. ReutersNew York – The scandal surrounding NYPD’s lieutenant promotional exams is even more pervasive than originally thought, according to an exclusive report in the New York Daily News (

    A review of an online message board for police officers revealed that sergeants who had taken the initial October 30, 2011 test shared specific questions and answers on the exam with those taking the makeup exam administered on November 15, 2011. Some sergeants went so far as to post all 100 answers and compare them with answers from 12 other sergeants.

    Those who took the makeup test in 2011 scored higher than those who sat for the original administration, with 29% passing the initial exam, and 65% passing the makeup one. In 2015, the passage rate was 6.8% for those who took the initial test, and 48% for the makeup. The disparity between the 2015 passing rates prompted a lawsuit and an internal freeze on promotions for lieutenants.

    “The numbers you have show that the cheating was more widespread, and that means there are other captains who shouldn’t have been promoted,” said one source.

    A spokesman for the NYPD said, “The NYPD has been conducting an internal review into issues relating to the 2015 lieutenants promotional examination.” The spokesman did not say whether the NYPD was also investigating the 2011 results.

    The Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which administers the promotional exam, would only say that it was working with the NYPD “on procedures to improve the administration of makeup examinations going forward. As this issue is currently under review, it is not appropriate to comment further at this time.”

    Ed Mullins, who heads the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said everyone who took the 2015 exam should be promoted since there is no way to know who truly deserved to be promoted and who didn’t. “How are we going to sit here and accuse people of cheating unless you can say beyond a doubt they cheated?” Mullins said. “Unless you can prove it, I think you have no choice other than to promote. . . . Unfortunately, the people of New York City may not be getting the best and brightest. If that’s the truth, that’s terrible.”

    The investigation into the cheating misconduct comes amid another NYPD scandal involving City Hall and the Mayor’s fundraising activities, which has also drawn the attention of the FBI.

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