A former SC Highway Patrol officer is under investigation by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety's Office of Professional Responsibility for allegations of falsification of documents, according to Sherri Iacobelli, with the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.
We are not naming the trooper because he's not charged with a crime.
Iacobelli said the 12-year veteran trooper was suspended without pay May 13 pending the outcome of the investigation and resigned the following day.
Iacobelli said the trooper was certified through the SC Criminal Justice Academy as a Speed Measuring Device Instructor.
She said the Department of Public Safety was notified by the SC Criminal Justice Academy last month about inconsistencies discovered in radar certification paperwork of five officers with the Dillon Police Department.
The paperwork was prepared by the trooper, according to Iacobelli.
"We were given six proficiency tests presented to our agency," said South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Public Information Officer Florence McCants. "Three had the exact same numbers even down to what the officers missed as far as mathematical errors. Those same three were exactly the same. Two more were exactly the same. And then there was one stand alone. It's very highly unlikely that three people are going to take a test and come up with the exact same results as well as two, you know, on that way. So, you know we knew then, there there was possibly an issue."
The five officers with discrepancies in their test results were retested last week and passed, McCants said.
"We wanted to make sure that everything was done the proper way," she said. "Again, once we got them we realized the numbers that we were given to us were highly unlikely to be accurate. So, what we did is we notified the agency of which the officer, the instructor, worked for. And then we made contact with Dillon to let them know that we had some concerns with that. And therefore we retested those individuals ourselves."
McCants said officers don't have to be certified in radar use, but some law enforcement agencies want to go the extra mile to ensure officers have a better understanding of the radar device.
"I don't want people to think that you have got to be radar certified in order to work the radar. No, you don't. And even the proficiency test are not mandated by law. So, no its not defined or required by statute. However, it's a requirement of the class. It's a means for the SC Criminal Justice Academy to ensure that the officers are fully aware of how to properly utilize the instrument. It also assists officers in educating the citizens, strengthen both his or her ability to enforces cases. As well as prosecute them in court," explained McCants.
Iacobelli said the investigation into the discrepancies with the initial test results is ongoing.
We'll let you know the outcome as soon as it's made available to us.