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POLYGRAPH

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Posted over 2 years ago

 

Hello,


I know some people on here have lots of good advice, I am currently employed for an agency that I do not wish to say just to save my self a head ache.


I am in the process for Deputy Sheriff.


I been employed with the Department coming up on 5 years. I am a likeable empoyee, always show up to work on time, and I have an outstanding work record. Never been writen up. I have a few good write ups, and I have never been in trouble.


 


I applied for Deputy Sheriff, I took my polygraph last tuesday. It was a horrible experience. When I first got there I filled out a pre employment questionaire. I answered as truthfully as I remeber. I waited in the lobby, and after waiting for 3 hours I was brought in the room. My polygrapher went over my pre-poly questionair.  He told me "When you applied for the last position you listed on there there was nothing negative on your credit report, on this application you said there is?" I emplained to him that in 2007 when I applied I had discussed it with my BI, and he told me that I would need to pay  them off (2 medical bills) as soon as I got hired. Those 2 medical bills have been paid off.  Another question came up "Have you had sex with a minor?" The polygrapher stated that in 2007 when I applied I had said yes to the question and on this application I haddent. I emplained to him that I discussed that with my background investigator in 2007, I told him I was 17 and she was 17, I tuned 18 than she tuned 18. I told the polygrapher that I had no sexual  intercourse and it was just Oral sex. He stated ok ill just change the question to "Other than what we talked about have you had sex with a minor?" My answer was no.


We started the polygraph, he did not give me any directions all he said was "You been here before so you know what to do?"


Once we completed the whole test he asked me to step in the lobby.


10 minutes later, he came and got me and told me to follow him. I walked inside the room and sat down. He asked me "So, how do you think you did?" I told him " Good sir, I was being honest"


 


He proceded to tell me that I was tryng to cheat the test. I told him I was not cheating the test. We went back and forth for about 30 minutes, and he kept accusing me of trying to cheat the polygraph test. I kept on telling him that I was not doing anything that I was tring to relax. Than he proceded to tell me that I would never be a Deputy Sheriff, and that I would never be a Police Officer. I told him once again that I was being honest. He said that I had done research out of a text book and that any polygrapher that saw my charts taht they would know what I was doning. Than he told me "if you tell me what you were doing in detail, I will give you another opportunity. I have the power to delete the charts and start all over. You have to help me out. If you can't help me out, I can't help you out." I told him that I was not going to tell him what he wanted to hear so he could give me another chance. I told him that all I was doing was taking in deep breaths, short breaths, and normal breaths in order to relax my body because I was nervous. I told him that I could feel my muscles twitching, along with my fingers and all I was trying to do was to relax, and answer the questions truthfully.


He then told me " I am running out of patience, I can give you another test if youre honest"


At this point I was so disapointed that I was in tears. I told the polygrapher that all I was trying to do was relax and answer the question. 


He told me once again " If you want another opportunity write down in detail everything you did, and ill give you another test. You're not the same person that you were when you were 18 and the only way I am going to know if you matured is if you tell me exactly what you did." He gave me a piece of paper and I wrote " After I answer the question I am taking in deep breaths, short breaths and normal breaths. I feel my body tensing up, my muscles are twinching and all I am doing is trying to realax, andwer the question and look at the wall."


 


He picked up the paper and read what I wrote.


 


He put numbers on top of the page and said "Thanks for trying" He got up looked at the wall and said "Bye"


I been employed with this agency for almost 5 years, I have a great attendance record, along with a great work record, I have NEVER been writen up, nor have I ever been acused of anything. I am liked and I try to live my live style to meet the Departments expectations.  I was an explorer for almost 3 years prior to applying for the position that I work now.  I have always had a great reputation,  since I been 17 I been involved somehow with this department and after that polygraph I feel disgusted.


 


I am truthly worried about my futute,  and I feel like this polygraph might of ust ended my hard earned career. To be honest, I have no reason to try to beat a polygraph, I don't even beleive that they work.  I have no reason to hide anything about my past.


I know for a fact that I am a good person, most of my friends are law enforcement, and after they heard about my polygraph experiece they were shocked.


I am disgusted that someone who is a polygrapher can sit there and acuse someone who already works for a Law Enforcement agancy of being a liar and a cheater. Without having proof. It goes 100% against our own core values.


I have not got my results for my polygraph, and I dont want to jump the gun. However, this is something that I been working hard for for a long time. I think is unjust that someone can just tarnish my reputation.


Any adivise, or any comments would be greatly appreciated.


 


Thank  you all.


 


 

Silver_warrior_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

The question you ask doesn't really have a specific answer. . . .only theories, since nobody here was at the test when it was being given.  RETLEO is the resident expert on the polygraph here so you may wish to seek him out and see what he has to say.


As for your concerns. . . .there are a couple of ways of looking at this.  First is the negative way.  IF you were attempting to beat the polygraph and the operator is a well qualified operator. . . .you're screwed.


Second is a more positive way.  IF you were being honest and the operator is a well qualified operator. . . .he may have had some questions about what you were doing and decided to press you on them.  From what you wrote here. . . .it sounds like you didn't alter your story and if he was pressing you then, depending on what the actual conversation was about, you MAY have passed.


Again, nobody from this site was there during the test and only have what you have posted here to submit a theory on what happened.  Also, many here will be reluctant in expressing that theory for a number of reasons. . . .mainly because they don't know who you are and could you be gathering information to use against them at a later point.  Don't laugh, it hasn't been that long ago that someone was here doing just that.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

15300287_bg1_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Sounds like he was fishing to me. I know that if he had something he would of failed you and maybe asked you twice if you were lying. Since he repeated the question and truely got emotional about it he may of just been looking for a reaction from you. I think you did fine by standing your ground.


 


You could move to Oregon laws dont allow employment polygraphs just a psych interview.

Chart_max50

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Rated +2 | Posted over 2 years ago

 

I am not inexperienced with polygraph, but without being able to review all of the data related to your examination please understand that my comments are based solely on the information you have provided. 


It seems to me that if the examiner had noted consistent significant reactions to a particular relevant issue or issues, your questioning would have specifically addressed those issues. For example, if you had specific significant reactions to the question regarding sex with a minor that concerned you before the exam, his post test questioning would have directly concerned that issue. 


As to accusations that you were trying to cheat the test. He may have observed indications that you were using or attempting to use countermeasures to mask your legitimate responses. I am not making any accusations at all, but IF you tried to use some of the "pass your polygraph" tricks available on the Internet, Beowolf_7 was right, you may have screwed yourself. Most of them are not that difficult to spot. The National Academy of Sciences is of the opinion that these techniques actually increase a person's chances of appearing deceptive. 


Another possibility is that the examiner was trying to resolve inconclusive results. I find heavy handed accusations and threats like the ones you described are generally unproductive. I don't use them and I don't personally know any examiners that use them much at all. If your state has polygraph licensing, he probably does not have the authority to simply delete a set of charts and start over. 


My best advice to you is that if you get another opportunity for a polygraph examination, 1. ask if perhaps another examiner would be available to handle the job. 2. DON'T try to relax yourself following questions, just let your body do what it will do. Conscious  attempts to control your body's reactions  defines countermeasures. 3. Tell the truth.


Everybody is nervous when taking a polygraph examination. General nervousness won't cause you to fail. I get extremely nervous every time I take on and haven't ever failed one. 

White_shirt_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Joined yesterday, First post and skeleton profile. You may have shared a little to much information.

Bronzestarribbon_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

If it's meant to be it will happen, just relax and answer the questions.

Chart_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 2 years ago

 

 No Not too much information at all. Polygraph even works on trained polygraph examiners and there is nothing secret or mysterious about the way it works. The main problem is that charletans and idiots are providing information that causes basically honest people to fail their exams. 


Some do it for profit and some do it because they got their feelings hurt because some government agency did not rate them as highly as they rated themselves. Some examiners actually keep a copy of one of the more popular "cheat the polygraph" manuals in their office and  will allow an examinee to read it right before his exam if he thinks it will help him.


What most examinees fail to consider is the generally held view that attempting these silly tactics is a very strong indicator of a lack of trust, a lack of confidence, and a willingness to engage in deceptive behavior for personal gain, considered contrary to the qualities sought by agencies seeking law enforcement officers. 


I find it astonishing that some people's paranoiia about polygraph doesn't seem to extend to any skepticism or distrust regarding the accuracy of information provided by strangers on the internet. Even though these very strangers are telling them that it is perfectly OK for an applicant to CHEAT and/or LIE after promissing to cooperate and tell the truth. 


What reputable examiners won't do is discuss they way cheaters are actually caught to avoid escalation of tactics used by liars and cheats.


please excuse the soapbox rant. 

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Thank you guys for your resposes.


I can assure you guys that I was not trying to chat the polygraph, nor was I trying to hide anything.


 


I been employed with this Department for around 5 years like I mention earlier, and I have never had an integrity problem. We all make mistakes, and I much rather be upfront and take the punishment, than to be looked at as a liar.


I am just kinda disapointed that I would be accused of doing such things. I have taken a total of 4 polygraphs in my life, and every single one has freakied me out. Not because I got soemthing to hide.


 


Thanks again for all your responses. I am continuing to patiently wait to hear from my background invetigator.


 @Uncledennis1 I know my profile is new, and I have not filled in anything, and that's just to protect myself. I really have nothign to hide, I am just looking for some advice. I don't want to fill this whole form out until I find out my results.

Justice-400_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Ojdoming:


According to a polygraph examiner in 2008, I am a felon and a child molester. I failed the questions of "Have you ever committed a felony" and "have you ever had sexual contact with a child." I felt shattered. My own mom told me I need to pray and figure out what in my past is haunting me. This agency was one I badly wanted to work for. To top things off, she was rude to me throughout the process of the polygraph and sounded a little hostile most of the time. I couldn't relax in the slightest. That polygraph exam was by far one of the worst experiences I have ever been through.


Three days later, another polygraph examiner with a different agency I was applying for passed me with flying colors.


Fast forward to 2010. I passed another polygraph for my current job.


Fast foward again to 2012, just a couple months ago. I passed another polygraph for the job I am relocating to.


Polygraphs are not a monster in the shadows that will keep you from going where you want to. They serve a great, GREAT purpose in scaring off people who would normally lie in their background investigations. Other than that they are inaccurate and stressful. I would torture my worst enemy in two ways; making them move homes every three months, having to unpack and pack everything each time, and making them take a polygraph every two months, making a new job for them contingent on that polygraph exam.


I'll just come out and say it. Even if you were lying, your examiner was being a douche. I was treated respectfully by all of my polygraph examiners except the first, and I to this day feel it had an impact on my test. She was being rude to me well before the test and my failure. There is no reason for him to rail you and "fish" for information. It seems to me from what you've said he could be more straight with you.


Move forward. Apply to that agency again when you're allowed or try a different agency. Sometimes you don't realize the agency of your dreams right away. That first department I had a poly with, I was certain that was the department for me. Now they have horrible budget problems, a city council, mayor and police chief who can't get along, they've been going through layoffs and officers aren't happy there. I'm going to a department right next door to them that is positive, responsible, enthusiastic and making good changes in the community and the department.


When I failed that first polygraph, a coworker of mine who used to be a deputy told me this, and it really helped me move forward, "You didn't lie on a polygraph test, you failed a polygraph test. It's just a test. You can get through it like any other test."

Chart_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

 Clobster, just because a polygraph isn't one hundred percent accurate does not mean that it is inaccurate. It is a screening exam and I'll bet you can't name any screening exam that is one hundred percent. in fact the National Academy of Sciences requires that ANY scientific teshamstring have a known error rate. It was one of their primary criticisms of DNA evidence back in the early days, no error rate. 


Because screening exams are not 100 percent, most law enforcement agencies use multiple applicant screening tools. Polygraph is just one. Passing the written pre-employment test does not guarentee that an applicant is smart enough to be a police officer. Passing the physical agility test does not mean that an applicant won't have a heart attack during a foot pursuit. Applicants are disqualified on the basis of their MMPI OR CPI results every day, and shooting a qualifying score on the range does not mean you will be able to put all your rounds where they need to go in an OIS. However when you look at the results of the variety of relevant screening tools cumulatively, you reduce the likelihood of a bad apple getting through and increase the liklihood that those who survive the process fit the criteria for the job. If this process causes a good prospect to be rejected once in awhile, it is just the cost of doing business. In my experience and opinion, Polygraph is a good reliable tool for this purpose. 


In the long run, the potential cost to the profession of allowing a bad apple into the barrel is significantly greater than the cost of rejecting several good ones. 


 


 

Th_detective_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

"Polygraphs are not a monster in the shadows that will keep you from going where you want to. They serve a great, GREAT purpose in scaring off people who would normally lie in their background investigations. Other than that they are inaccurate and stressful. "


A rather interseting, if fatally flawed observation clobster. Ojdoming take heed of the advice offered by lieguy, he is right on the money.  If Polygraph Examinations were unreliable and inaccurate then no LE agency would use them for ANY purpose.  The reliability of the Polygraph is dependent upon the capabilities of the examiner and the reactions of the test subject to the test questions.  Again, refer to lieguy's posts for guidance.


"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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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

Those of you who feel the polygraph is accurate, let me tell you, you don't know until you walk in another person's shoes...my son is not a lier.  When he was little I taught him to tell the truth, no matter how hard, or how much it hurts to do so.  He has been an officer for 14 years...years ago, he applied with another force, and failed the polygraph...since then, he has been scared to death of them, and I don't want to make it sound like he is a whimp, he is not...then, had some minor problems with them again applying with another force, but did ok.  Now years later he found a force that would have been a forever job...actually two co-workers came after him and wanted him to come work there, b/c they love it, and they had worked with my son before.  So he did, and did great on all the testing.  Then came his polygraph and before he left we spoke.  I knew he was going to fail by the way he was talking...he is a man of very few words...and not an emotional talker...he went and failed and we were all devestated, he called me and told me, "mom, they think I hired a prostitute".  I said "What"?  First of all, that goes against any of his moral values...and 2nd, the first time he failed the test, it was about drugs, so it proves it is inconsistant.  He doesn't go out after work drinking EVER.  He goes right home.  He is dedicated to his job, and his family...extremely well spoken, loyal and possesses integrity.  I could always  ask him a question, and no matter what, he'd always tell me the truth.  His refrences are outstanding!  His file is clean, not one negative comment in it...So, my point is...while a lot of people do lie, there are a whole lot of good men who don't...and loose a career b/c of a machine, which I think is awfully lame, considering he aced all the other tests...and his credentials are high end.  His buddy told him, that the two of them had problems with the polygraph but passed, and bought up a very good point.  My son, at one time worked in a very high crime area, and they dealt with a lot of prostitues...he told my son, that the longer we do this job, the harder it is to pass a polygraph, reason being, we saw prosititues, and a lot of dead ones, and I believe when they ask questions, it triggers those thoughts in our minds....and I believe that to be true....so before all of you, who have judged those on the context that polygraphs are accurate, I would suggest, you not, until you walk in someone else's shoes.  They are very hard, and intimidating to some, especially if you want the job really bad.  One more thing...that machine can break confidence and ruin the chance at a good career for the rest of someone's life...what really bothers me, is they trust that machine, before they talk to refrences...and superiors...that to me, is a huge human error.


 

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

lieguy says ...



 No Not too much information at all. Polygraph even works on trained polygraph examiners and there is nothing secret or mysterious about the way it works. The main problem is that charletans and idiots are providing information that causes basically honest people to fail their exams. 


Some do it for profit and some do it because they got their feelings hurt because some government agency did not rate them as highly as they rated themselves. Some examiners actually keep a copy of one of the more popular "cheat the polygraph" manuals in their office and  will allow an examinee to read it right before his exam if he thinks it will help him.


What most examinees fail to consider is the generally held view that attempting these silly tactics is a very strong indicator of a lack of trust, a lack of confidence, and a willingness to engage in deceptive behavior for personal gain, considered contrary to the qualities sought by agencies seeking law enforcement officers. 


I find it astonishing that some people's paranoiia about polygraph doesn't seem to extend to any skepticism or distrust regarding the accuracy of information provided by strangers on the internet. Even though these very strangers are telling them that it is perfectly OK for an applicant to CHEAT and/or LIE after promissing to cooperate and tell the truth. 


What reputable examiners won't do is discuss they way cheaters are actually caught to avoid escalation of tactics used by liars and cheats.


please excuse the soapbox rant. 


 


I know a woman's father who gives polygraphs...she took it herself and told her father they are definately NOT ACCURATE...she took it herself and on the question she told the truth on, the machine said she lied, and on a question she lied on, the machine said she told the truth...I would suggest, you remain just a tad open minded, and the fact that the courts deem them insufficent evident speaks volumns.  Forgive me, but I can't imagine all the good men who lost a job b/c the machine was wrong...not to mention, what it did to they're lives.  Just b/c you don't have a problem with it, doesn't mean that everyone is lying...who fails the test...not true...so not true. 


Rcsd04_max600_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

trader22 says ...



Those of you who feel the polygraph is accurate, let me tell you, you don't know until you walk in another person's shoes...my son is not a lier.  When he was little I taught him to tell the truth, no matter how hard, or how much it hurts to do so.  He has been an officer for 14 years...years ago, he applied with another force, and failed the polygraph...since then, he has been scared to death of them, and I don't want to make it sound like he is a whimp, he is not...then, had some minor problems with them again applying with another force, but did ok.  Now years later he found a force that would have been a forever job...actually two co-workers came after him and wanted him to come work there, b/c they love it, and they had worked with my son before.  So he did, and did great on all the testing.  Then came his polygraph and before he left we spoke.  I knew he was going to fail by the way he was talking...he is a man of very few words...and not an emotional talker...he went and failed and we were all devestated, he called me and told me, "mom, they think I hired a prostitute".  I said "What"?  First of all, that goes against any of his moral values...and 2nd, the first time he failed the test, it was about drugs, so it proves it is inconsistant.  He doesn't go out after work drinking EVER.  He goes right home.  He is dedicated to his job, and his family...extremely well spoken, loyal and possesses integrity.  I could always  ask him a question, and no matter what, he'd always tell me the truth.  His refrences are outstanding!  His file is clean, not one negative comment in it...So, my point is...while a lot of people do lie, there are a whole lot of good men who don't...and loose a career b/c of a machine, which I think is awfully lame, considering he aced all the other tests...and his credentials are high end.  His buddy told him, that the two of them had problems with the polygraph but passed, and bought up a very good point.  My son, at one time worked in a very high crime area, and they dealt with a lot of prostitues...he told my son, that the longer we do this job, the harder it is to pass a polygraph, reason being, we saw prosititues, and a lot of dead ones, and I believe when they ask questions, it triggers those thoughts in our minds....and I believe that to be true....so before all of you, who have judged those on the context that polygraphs are accurate, I would suggest, you not, until you walk in someone else's shoes.  They are very hard, and intimidating to some, especially if you want the job really bad.  One more thing...that machine can break confidence and ruin the chance at a good career for the rest of someone's life...what really bothers me, is they trust that machine, before they talk to refrences...and superiors...that to me, is a huge human error.


 I know exactly where your'e coming from trader. I recently took a polygraph with an agency that I wanted to go full time. Got in the chair answered all the pre test questions and then went into the chair. I was told I was lieing on a question if I ever committed a serious crime like murder, robbery, arson etc. Seriously!! I grew up in a sold home with no problems growing up. So the investigator started his interogation on me. Felt like I was getting acussed of all kinds of stuff. Because of that one question I did not pass 100%, which is required by the dept. I am not sold on this machine, I know their has to be problems with it. I wish they would throw that dang machine away already.



You wouldn't go in there for a million bucks...A Cop does it for less...A Reserve does it for free....