Unions Losing Confidence in Dallas County Sheriff Amid Training Academy Fiasco

Deputies with the Dallas County Sheriff's Department are demanding an apology from Sheriff Lupe Valdez after she accused the majority of an academy class of purposely bombing a state exam.

Valdez said the recruits tanked their first attempt at the exam out of spite over concerns the department might not have jobs for them after graduation.  Valdez told NBC 5 Investigates 17 of those recruits passed the exam on a second attempt and were all hired by the sheriff's department.

On Wednesday, three unions that represent employees of the sheriff's department said the sheriff needs to apologize to her staff; one of the unions is even calling for an investigation while another said they're losing confidence in Valdez's leadership.

"We are deeply disturbed that Sheriff Valdez would make such an accusation against the character of an entire academy class without providing justification for her accusation.  We hold Sheriff Valdez accountable for the situation and we expect her to provide specific details on how she plans to rectify it," said Christopher Dyer, president of the Dallas County Sheriff's Association.

Due to the low scores, the Dallas County Sheriff's Department's Training Academy is at risk of being shut down.  The state mandates that 80 percent of recruits pass the state exam, only 25 percent passed last fall.

"If she believes that's true then why doesn't she do an investigation before she comes out and makes that comment?" said Mike Ramirez, with the Latino Peace Officers Association.

Valdez previously told NBC 5 Investigates the problems at the academy are being address, but she would not say whether she would launch a formal investigation.

Valdez has not replied to a request for a response to the union statements.

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