Cameron County to change civil service test taking procedures

Eight Cameron County sheriff deputies are accused of cheating while taking a civil service exam.

They've now been charged with tampering with governmental records and misuse of official information.

The county's human resources department is looking to address issues with test taking procedures.

Arnold Flores with the Cameron County Human Resources Department said changes are on the way.

"We have discussed for some time restructuring, reorganizing the department to strengthen the monitoring of testing, making our processes more efficient," Cameron County Human Resource Civil Service Director Arnold Flores explained.

Thursday afternoon, the Sheriff's Department confirmed eight deputies were suspended and ultimately fired amid allegations they cheated on a Cameron County civil service employment entrance exam.

"The Cameron County Sheriff TMs Office will not compromise the integrity of this office for the selfish act of a few," said Chief Deputy Gus Reyna.

"It TMs disappointing to see people, especially professionals, go in there and do things like this. Grown adults go in there and feel they need to cheat on a test to gain some sort of advantage," Flores said.

Recommendations to change test taking procedures have already been discussed.

Right now, there is one version of the test, said Flores. He added having more than one version of the test can help safeguard against cheating in the future.

Action 4 News learned from an anonymous law enforcement source with close ties to the investigation that at least one deputy took a cell phone photo of the exam and shared it with others.

While Chief Reyna and Flores would not confirm that information, they said test takers were allowed to bring their cell phones and personal belongings into the exam room as long as they were powered off, but that will no longer be the case.

"What we've done now is we've asked that when individuals come in to take their exam that they leave their personal belongings-cell phones, purses, things of that nature, in their vehicles while they come in and take the exam," Flores said.

Flores added that it TMs unfortunate and disturbing to think that adults would cheat on such a test, especially since these questions are not out of the ordinary.

In fact, he says the deputies should already know the answers to the civil service exam as they would have already answered them to get certified by Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.