Polygraph Testing of Public Employees

 

Pre-Employment Polygraph Testing of Public Employees

The Polygraph Science Center provides services to public safety organizations and authorized regulated industries. The Center is appropriately licensed and insured to provide pre-employment screening and Internal Investigations polygraph examinations.

Our professional examiners, who are former federal law enforcement officers or investigators, have substantial field experience in the area of personnel investigations. These services may be provided to the employing agency by letter agreement.

The employing agency is expected to select the candidates and conduct the intake process. The polygraph examination does not take the place of a background investigation. Rather it provides an additional tool for the background investigator. It is important to note that because the applicant is honest with us does not mean that are are a good candidate.

A Pre-Polygraph Questionnaire is supplied by The Polygraph Science Center.  A sample can be sent to an inquiring Agency. The questionnaire can be adjusted to the satisfaction of the Client Agency. The questionnaire is provided in a PDF format so it can be sent as an E-mail attachment to a prospective candidate for completion. The examination is based on the questions asked.

It is helpful to the process for the candidate to complete the questionnaire and schedule an appointment for a review interview with the Client Agency’s background investigator. Some applicants may be eliminated at that stage. In conjunction with the Client, we seek to identify the following problems:

  • Affiliation With Destructive And Violent Groups
  • Debilitating Criminal Background And Associations
  • Unstable Employment History
  • Identified Behavioral Problems
  • Illegal Use, Sale Or Possession Of Drugs
  • Non-rehabilitated Abuse Of Alcohol And Prescription Medicine
  • Personal Characteristics Making One Susceptible To Blackmail
  • Financial Irresponsibility And Conduct Affecting Trustworthiness

INTERNAL AFFAIRS EXAMINATIONS

Unfortunately, there comes a time when allegations are made within a law enforcement against one of their own. We are experienced at working with the Department’s Administration of a Public Safety Organization in providing support toward the resolution of these issues.  Of course the Administration will have to issue the appropriate notification. These cases are best done in our lab in Grapevine. However, we can travel to your location where you supply the examination room but the space should be at a neutral setting and away from workplace.

SUPPORT TO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS 

Investigators frequently feel that they have arrived at a crossroads with a suspect. Charge or not to charge. If there is uncertainty, our polygraph examiners can assist through interview and examination to determine the level of involvement of a suspect or determine that there was no involvement. That latter situation frees the investigator to pursue other leads or suspects or confirm new details derived from the examination. Our examiners did not just fall out of a patrol car on the way over to your place. They were experienced investigators before ever becoming polygraph examiners. This allows them to be real partners with the investigator in the review of the case facts and to be supportive in the interview process. A number of techniques can be used in that supportive role.

In other circumstances, there may be an over abundant number of people to be cleared at a scene.  We can respond to these situations in a timely manner and assist in the culling process. This usually works in a pyramid fashion, with initial officers doing preliminary screening and identifying those who fit the profiles of witnesses or suspects and pass them to the next level of review. Examiners are skilled interviewers and assist at that advanced level and that may lead to polygraph where it is appropriate. Since they are licensed by the State and operating under the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency, the examiners can be folded into the operation.

PREPARING FOR THE EXAMINATION

Our philosophy is to help the good applicant be successful. Therefore, the pre-employment polygraph questionnaire starts with instructions for the applicant to prepare. First, this includes avoiding alcohol and non-prescription medicine at least 24 hours. Plus, the application should refrain from morning sugar and caffeine shock on the day of the examination. Prescription medicines and physical problems should be disclosed because they can impact the applicant’s physiological reactions during testing. Privacy is a consideration and the applicant may decline to respond to certain questions, but we are required to ensure that the applicant is suitable for testing.

The booklet is designed to give an opportunity to list and explain any past event that may be of concern. There are no mystery questions asked by the examiners but there can be mystery answers if something is withheld. During the extensive structured interview before the examination, plenty of opportunity is provided to discuss issues. We offer caution about attempting countermeasures. Those applicants that have something bad to hide seem to be the ones who attempt countermeasures. The examiners are measuring physiological responses to a psychological image. It will measure the heart rate and blood volume change, upper and lower breathing patterns, epidermal skin response and body motion. The exam and interview are videotaped as protection.

SCHEDULING AN APPOINTMENT

A simple letter agreement should exist between the Polygraph Science Center and the referring agency or client. A phone call or an E-mail can request an appointment range. Our scheduling officer will review the schedule and pencil in a tentative date and time for the client’s approval. If that time is acceptable to the client, a return E-mail will set the schedule and the client can issue the pre-test questionnaire.

Our primary lab is located in Grapevine, Texas. However, if candidates are grouped, an examiner can travel to your location for a travel fee.

After the examination is completed, a report will be emailed within 24 hours of the examination. Each of the relevant areas will be scored individually and reported out as either: No Deception Indicated; Inconclusive; or, Deception Indicated. Explanations and commentary is provided in the official daily report..

 

LINK TO IACP POLICY ON POLYGRAPH

 

 

 

LINK TO AMERICAN POLYGRAPH ASSOCIATION                             

 

 

 

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