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Failed Polygraph

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I recently went through almost whole process of becomming trooper( Physical, Written, Oral)all passed...The other day I failed my polygraph test and I know in my heart it was due to being jacked up and worried about the test because it was my first one and not because I had lied or decieved (Which doesn't make sence because when asked by the polygrapher if i came in today to try to deceive him.....i was telling the truth because he didn't call me upon it) also some of it was also my fault believing something wasn't revelant which I guess could of thrown the test off.  But my biggest concern and it scares me to death is... after failing this polygraph is my future in law enforcement completely over?   I've seen applications before and they ask you where you have applied recently and some will ask why you didn't get hired.....I feel like I could be ruined for ever now because when I answer those questions truthfully  to another police department they are just going to look the other way.  I don't know if any of you can confirm my career is over before it ever even started, but i'd like some input or maybe some ways to handle upcomming police departments that are going to bash me for failing a polygraph test.  (also I heard that any backround invest. could look at the results if need be)  I'm in my early twenties and have been a "Seasonal"  a couple of years and was looking for a full time position now, but I don't know what my future holds.

Cot_max50

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your immediate future should hold in introdutction to the site.  thanks.


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Avatar_wild_max50

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Please post an introduction.


 


Heroes Live Forever!

Avatar_wild_max50

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Beat me to it, HB


Heroes Live Forever!

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It might help if you tell us more about yourself and your goals in LE. This is what the Introduction thread is used for. Try this link: http://policelink.monster.com/discussions/130-introductions/topics

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I'm sorry is there something in my profile I have to set up in order to post?

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Thank you for your help I just posted a intro

Th_detective_max50

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You did not fail the Polygraph because you were "jacked up and worried about it".  The instrument does not measure "worry" or nervousness.  Prior to testing the  instrument is balanced to what is "normal" for your physiological response mechanisms at that time.  Failing the polygraph examination does not mean that you are concealing criminal activity.  DId you ask the examiner what it was that caused you to fail?  That should have been your automatic question when he told you that you had failed.  It would be difficult, at best, to determine why you failed without knowing what questions caused you difficulties.


What agency were you applying for? In New Jersey there are no pre-employment polygraph examinations for Law Enforcement. I do not believe that your potential LE career is "over" because of this situation.  Although the polygraph test results may come up in any background investigation I think that you will be fine as long as the results did not indicate involvement in criminal activity or the use of illegal drugs (experimental use of Marijuana is usually overlooked).  Criminal activity does not include the bubblegum that one may have stolen as a kid, I am referring to more serious criminal acts.


Just be truthful with any agency that you apply to.  Lying or covering up information is a sure ticket to the exit door.


"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
Steve Jobs

Retleo (MODERATOR #8)
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It was out of state, i'd perfer not to mention the agency due to the great embarrassment I have put on myself (if thats ok with the police link community)..... I did ask the examiner why I failed but my question was if my future is over with law enforcement...

Picture_046_max50

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Un pucker your butt kiddo and relax a little its not over nore is it going to keep you from being an officer.  Just make sure your nose is clean and relax.  Being to nervous and getting worked up can screw it up even if you pass the test.

Th_detective_max50

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It is impossible to determine whether your potential LE career is "Over" without knowing WHY you failed the polygraph examination.  You are asking us to make determinations without giving us all the facts with which to make those determinations.  See my previous post for addendums regarding your potential career.


"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
Steve Jobs

Retleo (MODERATOR #8)
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Thanks Retleo and ghudson for putting my mind a lil bit a ease....my biggest problem was not getting details exactly right (such as dates) on my experimental drug usage 6 years ago

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Sorry Retleo I thought i read the whole topic but I didnt scroll down all the way...

6921071_max50

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This why I take pride in never trying any illegal drugs, drinking underage,  etc.  So I won't ever have this problem :)


"Train like there is no tomorrow, and there will be a tomorrow!" - Unknown

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Retleo says ...



You did not fail the Polygraph because you were "jacked up and worried about it".  The instrument does not measure "worry" or nervousness.  Prior to testing the  instrument is balanced to what is "normal" for your physiological response mechanisms at that time.  Failing the polygraph examination does not mean that you are concealing criminal activity.  DId you ask the examiner what it was that caused you to fail?  That should have been your automatic question when he told you that you had failed.  It would be difficult, at best, to determine why you failed without knowing what questions caused you difficulties.


What agency were you applying for? In New Jersey there are no pre-employment polygraph examinations for Law Enforcement. I do not believe that your potential LE career is "over" because of this situation.  Although the polygraph test results may come up in any background investigation I think that you will be fine as long as the results did not indicate involvement in criminal activity or the use of illegal drugs (experimental use of Marijuana is usually overlooked).  Criminal activity does not include the bubblegum that one may have stolen as a kid, I am referring to more serious criminal acts.


Just be truthful with any agency that you apply to.  Lying or covering up information is a sure ticket to the exit door.



Just be truthful with any agency that you apply to.  Lying or covering up information is a sure ticket to the exit door....and this MAJOR RULE should be used no matter where you apply or what career you pursue.


It is what it is.............and.........these things too shall pass.

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Broadly speaking, failing a polygraph does not necessarily ban or forbid someone for life from re-applying or applying at a police department in many cases.  (Note: It also depends upon the police agencies hiring policies too concerning this issue.  Policies can differ from one department to the next.  They're not always the same).


Personally, I am not a big polygraph fan but it is a common "tool" often utilized by many LE agencies in the hiring process.  Of course, depending upon the results of the individual's polygraph, the information gained from the test can sometimes be revealing.  And yes, it is a possibility another background investigator can learn about and/or see the results of your failed polygraph test when they're conducting their background investigation on you.


As for advice, like everyone already said, try to chill and simply answer questions truthfully.  And, assuming you generally have a clean background, I have heard of countless occasions of people failing the poly the first time they take it and later on, they pass it and get hired! Many are now succesful LEO's too!

4320_1149675455386_1032583943_439930_6198449_n_max50

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seasonal86 says ...



I recently went through almost whole process of becomming trooper( Physical, Written, Oral)all passed...The other day I failed my polygraph test and I know in my heart it was due to being jacked up and worried about the test because it was my first one and not because I had lied or decieved (Which doesn't make sence because when asked by the polygrapher if i came in today to try to deceive him.....i was telling the truth because he didn't call me upon it) also some of it was also my fault believing something wasn't revelant which I guess could of thrown the test off.  But my biggest concern and it scares me to death is... after failing this polygraph is my future in law enforcement completely over?   I've seen applications before and they ask you where you have applied recently and some will ask why you didn't get hired.....I feel like I could be ruined for ever now because when I answer those questions truthfully  to another police department they are just going to look the other way.  I don't know if any of you can confirm my career is over before it ever even started, but i'd like some input or maybe some ways to handle upcomming police departments that are going to bash me for failing a polygraph test.  (also I heard that any backround invest. could look at the results if need be)  I'm in my early twenties and have been a "Seasonal"  a couple of years and was looking for a full time position now, but I don't know what my future holds.



Hey man, sorry to hear that you failed the polygraph.  I don't think you will have a problem in the future.  I have a follow-up question about the polygraph for you.  I was wondering exactly what they asked?  Are they looking for felonies, drugs, etc? I am just curious about what I should disclose (stupid, petty stuff).  I have never touched drugs or any of the crimes (exception of shoplifting when i was younger) that are listed on my application.  So, my question is, what should I expect on the polygraph (in general)?

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As this was my first polygraph, I recommend to you that if your polygrapher gives you a chance to go over the polygraph book that you filled out, go over everything with a fine comb and make sure everything is exact and correct in detail.  I messed up by not being exact with my details and not taking enough time to fill out my polygraph book and just flew through it because I generally have no problems in my past.......but don't do what I did and think somethings not relevant and just blow it off,  if like you said about stealing when you were younger, yes sure it seems dumb and it shouldn't be held against you but make it known to the polygrapher and let the department dismiss that (which they will usually).  The test wentas follows....he picked 15 question to ask me and was issued the test 3 times wirh the questions in different order everytime.  Two cables are strapped across your chest, blood pressure cuff is strapped to your left are and pumped up and stays pumped up the entire time testing (which made my arm and hand twitch and i also lost feeling in that hand)  two readers of some sort will be placed on your right hand on your 2 of your fingers(i actually felt like i was in the electric chair for a moment) and the questions are anything that you could of filled out in your polygraph book. stealing, trying to decieve the polygrapher,drug usage,sexual assuallt, basically anything goes.  Good Luck don't make the same mistakes as I have   I'm sure you'll do fine

4320_1149675455386_1032583943_439930_6198449_n_max50

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seasonal86 says ...



As this was my first polygraph, I recommend to you that if your polygrapher gives you a chance to go over the polygraph book that you filled out, go over everything with a fine comb and make sure everything is exact and correct in detail.  I messed up by not being exact with my details and not taking enough time to fill out my polygraph book and just flew through it because I generally have no problems in my past.......but don't do what I did and think somethings not relevant and just blow it off,  if like you said about stealing when you were younger, yes sure it seems dumb and it shouldn't be held against you but make it known to the polygrapher and let the department dismiss that (which they will usually).  The test wentas follows....he picked 15 question to ask me and was issued the test 3 times wirh the questions in different order everytime.  Two cables are strapped across your chest, blood pressure cuff is strapped to your left are and pumped up and stays pumped up the entire time testing (which made my arm and hand twitch and i also lost feeling in that hand)  two readers of some sort will be placed on your right hand on your 2 of your fingers(i actually felt like i was in the electric chair for a moment) and the questions are anything that you could of filled out in your polygraph book. stealing, trying to decieve the polygrapher,drug usage,sexual assuallt, basically anything goes.  Good Luck don't make the same mistakes as I have   I'm sure you'll do fine



Wow, thanks for the info.  I will have to take some extra time to elaborate on my application, to make sure that nothing is omitted. Thanks for the advice, seasonal.. And, as I said before, I'm sure this incident will not permanently mar your chances of getting into a LE agency! Good luck, bro!

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NoahBallard says ...



This why I take pride in never trying any illegal drugs, drinking underage,  etc.  So I won't ever have this problem :)



I've never even smoked pot nor stolen anything, but I HAVE gotten drunk a few times underage. Will this screw me if I answer honestly on that?

4320_1149675455386_1032583943_439930_6198449_n_max50

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Honestly spittle, I don't think you will have a problem with that.  Getting drunk underage is pretty minor in the larger scheme of things.

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HeinrichLightle says ...



Honestly spittle, I don't think you will have a problem with that.  Getting drunk underage is pretty minor in the larger scheme of things.



Naturally, but I don't know how the PD would judge it. I'm sure they wouldn't care in Detroit since the standards are so low, but you never know...

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spittle8 says ...



NoahBallard says ...



This why I take pride in never trying any illegal drugs, drinking underage,  etc.  So I won't ever have this problem :)



I've never even smoked pot nor stolen anything, but I HAVE gotten drunk a few times underage. Will this screw me if I answer honestly on that?



spittle,


YOUR DONE!!!!!!!!!!! If you admit to being drunk while your underage, then how will they ever trust you to enforce the laws when you yourself have broken them????????????????????


Just kidding,


Seriously guys, RELAX. Agencies understand that people do stupid things in their youth. Everyone does them it is part of learning and growing up. They aren't going to look unfavorably upon you because you got drunk under 21 because they have more than likely did the same thing. If you guys have any questions or concerns shoot me a p.m. and I'd be more than happy to discuss them with you.


http://www.fowlergaragedoorservice.com

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NoahBallard says ...



This why I take pride in never trying any illegal drugs, drinking underage,  etc.  So I won't ever have this problem :)



When I took my polygraphs, the examiners asked me these questions and I told them I've never done drugs or underage drinking. As far as taking pens or post it pads from work home, most people have done it or taking candy from a store without paying for it as a kid is common. We've all done stupid things while growing up so if it happens to be the case, owe up to it and you'll be fine.


In fact, one examiner had a hard time believing that I seldomly drink which I really don't. Have never had a craving for alcohol in my life and I can't remember the last time I drank either.


 


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I'm possibly getting a re-test after discussing with the recuiting officer.....He contacted the polygrapher and they both believe that I didn't delibertly try to decieve them ....he said i'd be hearing from them weither or not I will be continuing in the hiring process.....even if they don't hire me I'd like to atleast take the test again so I can pass it and get some dignity back....also if they don't hire me other police agencies will see that I did pass the polygraph and that I'm not a lier....I'm keeping my fingers crossed every day this is on my mind

Th_detective_max50

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Just be honest and forthright with the examiner and you will do fine on the polygraph examination.  Don't sweat it if you can't recall every little detail of minor stuff you might have done in the past (stealing gum as a kid for example) just be truthful about prior illegal drug use or any "serious" criminal activity.  I think that we will be hearing in a few days that you made it through the second test with Flying Colors and that you are on the way to getting hired.  GOOD LUCK in your endeavor to join the LE Community!


"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
Steve Jobs

Retleo (MODERATOR #8)
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Thanks Retleo and everyone for your support....I'll keep you all updated I've got my fingers crossed

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A lot of police officeres weren't model citizens as kids or teenagers lol


Speaking from my own experience and all of my friends, they and myself included have been in trouble with the law longer than some of us have even on the good side. Young people make mistakes, they do stupid things, and they learn. If people really expected kids and teens and  young adults to make good decisions they have lost touch with reality. You have to get the party out before you get into LE. The departments know this and you should too.


What you can do when you younger and still be able to be a cop when your older might shock some of you lol


Like they said above, calm down and try again. Unless you have a massive record or have commited some bad felonies you're all fine.


Amateurs train until they get it right, Professionals train until they can't get it wrong.

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As a former (retired) deputy told me: "If you don't feel sick to your stomach when you're done, you lied."


"Train like there is no tomorrow, and there will be a tomorrow!" - Unknown

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From what I heard from another Officer elsewhere, the Polygraph is easily one of the most gut-renching parts. Many people say that it's not used in the Courtroom because it is not always very accurate, even if you tell the honest truth, and that's why people get nervous. Be honest, stay calm, and if you know that and don't lie, you'll pass.

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