Police academy director finally addresses cheating allegations

Created: 07/16/2014 10:11 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

On Wednesday, New Mexicans are finally hearing straight from the director of New Mexico's Law Enforcement Academy about allegations he encouraged cadets to cheat on their exams.

KOB first reported the allegations in March.

Several months later, Jones is finally offering some response. KOB reporter Caleb James caught up with Jones at a quarterly LEA board meeting.

"I was wondering if I could ask you a couple questions," said James.

"Not right now, but thanks," responded Jones. 

After asking if he'd schedule an interview for a later date, Jones responded:

"Get the microphone away from me and we'd be able to talk about a lot of things."

Jones was the focus of a KOB story in March about an anonymous letter signed by cadets in a 2013 class.

"We don't want to get in trouble, but we don't want to be cheaters," the letter read, in part.

The letter, signed "A FEW OF ACADEMY CLASS 185" said Jones provided cadets with answers to tests.

Not long after another class scored unusually high on exams.

An internal memo even from an academy instructor even accused Jones of telling teachers to "teach the test."

KOB tried asking Jones about those claims then, and again Wednesday.

"If you look at the scores," Jones began, showing a list of exam scores on Wednesday.

As quickly as he started to show James a handout of exam scores from his time at the academy, he directed a KOB photographer to stop recording.

"I can't take a shot of that?" asked the photographer.  

"I don't care, I'm done. I asked you not to do that," said Jones.

"So you're seriously not going to talk to us on camera?" asked James.

"No I'm not," Jones said.

"Why not?" asked James. "What is the big deal with being transparent?"

"Go away," said Jones.

Jones ended up presenting those scores to the LEA board later in the meeting -- in the open -- pointing out the marks from that suspiciously over-achieving class in 2013.

"There average score was 93.5 and that was done before Jack Jones," Jones said, addressing the board. 

But since he's been at the helm, Jones pointed out to the board, the scores are more realistic.

"Since I've been there sir the high average is 88, the low is 73," he said.

Jones also addressed questions about cheating in front of the board, and the big one: "Do you teach the test?"

"We do not teach the test," said Jones. "We do not tell the students, question number one the answer is A. What we do is we go through it and talk about the things that have been listed, and have been taught."

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