Former Metro officer accused of cheating on sergeant exam - WSMV Channel 4

Former Metro officer accused of cheating on sergeant exam

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A former Metro police officer who resigned after he was accused of cheating on a test while seeking a promotion may have talked with colleagues who had inside knowledge of the exam.

Rising through the ranks of the Metro Nashville Police Department can be very competitive. Sgt. Robert Weaver, with the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, said testing to become a sergeant is especially grueling.

"After you're done with it, because it's a mentally challenging test, you're exhausted by it. You're doing good to find your way home," Weaver said.

An internal investigation found former Officer Tim Szymanksi cheated on his sergeants' exam last year, and a new report may explain how it happened.

During one portion of the test, Szymanksi was given a fictional crime scenario. Several times, his responses referred to three individuals and three casualties.

The people giving the test grew concerned Szymanksi knew information he had not yet been given. The company that creates the exam said in its 30 years, it had never heard of a candidate guessing specific content like the Metro officer allegedly did.

Investigators looked at phone records on Szymanksi's police cell phone and found he "communicated with specific individuals that were candidates in the test process" and that "he had very specific and uncommon communication with some of these candidates" right before and after the test.

Szymanksi denied cheating and said his training prepared him for the scenario, but he was decommissioned and later resigned for conduct unbecoming of an officer.

Two other officers were questioned about their phone conversations with Szymanksi. While the report suggests they may have provided information about what was on the test, it appears there was no way to prove it, so they were not disciplined.

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