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DALLAS -- A Dallas police recruit academy instructor has been put on administrative leave while internal investigators look into allegations an academy recruit's score was 'reduced improperly,' the department said Thursday night in a news release.

Senior Cpl. Manuel Sanchez is accused of having 'intentionally altered' the recruit's test score on the police vehicle operations course 'to reflect a reduction which resulted in the recruit failing the initial re-test,' the release said.

Sanchez is the department's vehicle operations course coordinator and lead master instructor, the release said.

Officials from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement have been at the academy this week conducting an audit and looking into allegations made by the Dallas Police Association that commanders were reducing standards.

The news release said that auditors from the commission examined academy records, and as a result, alleged that the recruit's score was lowered improperly.

Police officials said the department is reviewing the vehicle operations scores of all recruits.

The recruit cited in the release was the same one that DPA officials had alleged the department was 'attempting to circumvent' it's own rules by letting the the recruit keep taking the test until he passed.

The department also announced that it was opening an investigation into allegations that a recruit was 'graded improperly on the practical skills examination' for the standardized field sobriety testing course in February, which resulted in her failing the course and being fired from the force.

The department did not specify who made allegations of misconduct.

The department's training standards for field sobriety testing training came under scrutiny after the police academy's commander sent out an email last week stating that recruits only had to pass the written test, but not the practical test.

Some compared that to a driver only having to pass the written test, but not having to show an instructor that they actually know how to drive.

When concerns were raised, Police Chief David Brown briefly suspended the training classes and ordered a review to ensure the department was complying with federal highway traffic safety standards.

In ordering the review, the chief cited concerns that minority recruits were failing the course in disproportionate numbers. Eight minority recruits (compared to one white recruit) had failed the training in the last five years.

The department announced earlier this week that the training had resumed. A department spokesman said recruits are required to pass both the written and the practical test.

E-mail teiserer@wfaa.com

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