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  • My polygraph experience

    Whats going on everyone! Hope you’re all having a good day. I’m new to the forum and wanted an honest review of my polygraph exam experience.

    I’m in the process with a SO down here in Texas and was scheduled for my Polygraph on October 18th at 1030am. I arrived 30 minutes early, ate a small meal prior and showed up in a suit and tie(the only one dressed up). The examiner had me sit down in the famous chair and gave me the run down of the polygraph instrument and his background experience. A veteran homicide detective whom had over 10+ years of experience doing polygraphs. He stated that he appreciated me dressing up and taking the polygraph seriously. I followed with “thank you sir, I take this process very seriously and intend to disclose everything about my background with you, as I have with my PHS and background investigator”. We talked for approximately 30 minutes about my past drug, arrest and work experience. I’ve experimented with marijuana 2x in 2008, I was arrested 2x but released to my parents both times(vandalism-2006, petty theft-2008) and was terminated 1x in 2014 from my past employer. I laid everything down on the table for my examiner and he stated before the exam that he was confident I was going to pass and be 100% honest when answering the questions. He hooked me up to the devices and put the blood pressure cuff onto my right calf which I thought was strange...

    After taking the exam, the examiner asked if I was being honest with him. I stated “YES, I WAS EXTREMELY HONEST FROM THE BEGINNING AND HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE”. I was told I failed the drug portion of the exam and was inconclusive in the “harms to persons” section. I mentioned that I was an armed security officer before and have seen/dealt with narcotics before but never used or touched them. Also that my grandfather grows marijuana(legally) for medicinal use but he doesn’t anymore since he’s in a nursing home. The examiner than says “I still believe you’re telling me the truth” , “I really hope they give you a retest” , ”Don’t take this as a loss, and to not give up in the process”, etc... basically trying to butter me up. He then says I think there might me something in that small closet in your head that you haven’t discussed with me about, basically attempting to get me to confess to things I haven’t done. I stuck to my answers and said “I don’t know what it can be”(because I honestly don’t know what it could be).

    I was nervous throughout the exam of course since it was my first one. I told my examiner that I’ve been experiencing some twitching due to my caffeine intake from my preworkout the day before and he said that could have made an impact on my test.

    its been 6 days and I haven’t heard from my background investigator or recruitment team about a DQ. I reached out to my buddy who is a corporal with the recruitment team and he said that I did fail the polygraph and that it was being passed over to the review board and that I should hear back next week with either a DQ letter or retest.

    any input about my experience and advice for the next time I do a polygraph would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sid_415 View Post
    Also that my grandfather grows marijuana(legally) for medicinal use but he doesn’t anymore since he’s in a nursing home .
    Saving everyone the trouble. Marijuana is ILLEGAL AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sid_415 View Post
      I’ve experimented with marijuana 2x in 2008, I was arrested 2x...

      I mentioned that I was an armed security officer before and have seen/dealt with narcotics before but never used or touched them.
      so you lied...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

        so you lied...
        How is that a lie? Marijuana is not a narcotic.

        Comment


        • not.in.MY.town
          not.in.MY.town commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, and in the context of the original post, the word narcotic clearly does not mean what YOU want it to mean. Your semantic games don't make the OP's statements untruthful.

        • Levithane
          Levithane commented
          Editing a comment
          Going off of DEA's website Narcotics include fentanyl, morphine, hydromorphone, heroin, methodone, opium, and oxycodone. Cannabis/weed has its own section and is considered a mind altering drug, is it labeled as a narcotic? No, but based on the mind altering definition they have attached to it, it could fall under the category.

        • Aidokea
          Aidokea commented
          Editing a comment
          Not, your argument is with the dictionary, not me...

        • not.in.MY.town
          not.in.MY.town commented
          Editing a comment
          Aidokea

          No, my argument is with you, and your insistence to go out of your way to accuse the OP of lying. Since you purport to be a retired LEO, how about we go with the DEA's interpretation of narcotics rather than the first definition that pops up in an online dictionary:

          Also known as “opioids,” the term “narcotic” comes from the Greek word for “stupor” and originally referred to a variety of substances that dulled the senses and relieved pain. Though some people still refer to all drugs as “narcotics,” today “narcotic” refers to opium, opium derivatives, and their semi-synthetic substitutes. A more current term for these drugs, with less uncertainty regarding its meaning, is “opioid.” Examples include the illicit drug heroin and pharmaceutical drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, codeine, morphine, methadone, and fentanyl.
          I've been in LE for 25 years. Even when the term "narcotics" was widely used for just about any illicit drug, I've NEVER met a cop who classified, referred to or considered weed a narcotic. I'm sure there are some oddballs who did or still do, but it certainly isn't the widely-accepted meaning of the word today.

      • #5
        You don’t fail a poly.

        Sometimes subjects are told they failed the poly as an investigative technique.
        "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

        "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

        Comment


        • #6
          Have you guys ever heard of an examiner telling the candidate that they’ve failed and but ends up passing the polygraph?

          Comment


          • #7
            Just a nit pick but for future reference try not to say things like extremely honest or 100% honest. Just sounds bad. If I ask about you being honest I want a yes or no. Honest is honest. Extremely honest makes me think you believe in differing levels of honesty. Just my humble opinion and no I am not a poly examiner.

            Comment


            • Sid_415
              Sid_415 commented
              Editing a comment
              I appreciate the input! I’ll definitely consider this next time I take my polygraph and won’t give out too much information. Thank you!!

          • #8
            Originally posted by Sid_415 View Post
            Have you guys ever heard of an examiner telling the candidate that they’ve failed and but ends up passing the polygraph?
            Yes, but that doesn't mean that's what happened here.

            The thing is, nobody here is going to be able to analyze your poly exam. Only you know if you were being completely honest. Only the poly operator and hiring agency knows what questioning technique he was using and the actual results of the test. And we're only getting the details of the exam from you, the person in the chair, whose recollections and interpretations are questionable.

            As for suggestions for any potential future poly exams, just be honest and answer the questions. Don't overanalyze.
            "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
            -Friedrich Nietzsche

            Comment


            • #9
              Interesting side note: According to modern agency accreditation standards (and possibly law, location depending), polygraph "failures" with no post-test admissions of lying are not supposed to be the sole determining reason that an applicant can be rejected. In reality, though, it happens. Also, how you score can depend heavily on the type of test and the examiner. My agency doesn't have a polygraph, so we used to rely on our county Sheriff's office. We noticed we had an unusually high number of "inconclusive" results and our Chief at the time would refuse to hire someone with an "inconclusive", regardless of how well they did in the rest of the hiring process. We were losing about 25% of our otherwise strong candidates who passed every other portion of the hiring process to "inconclusive" results, most of whom then went on to other agencies and passed their polygraphs and got hired. The S.O. was using a test called the LEPET (Law Enforcement Pre-Employment Test). Seeing the problem, we switched to another Sheriff's Office in our region who uses the Relevant/Irrelevant (R&I) test method and what do you know? No more "inconclusive" results. I also would send suspects to the original S.O. for polygraphs and routinely saw the examiner provide the charts to another examiner to analyze his conclusions. Sometimes the senior examiner would re-score something differently than what the original examiner did, which just illustrates the subjective and totally unscientific nature of the polygraph.

              Polygraphs are simply an interrogation tool, nothing more. At best they can distinguish a lie from the truth only slightly more accurately than the flip of a coin. They "work" because the entire testing routine is designed to convince the applicant that they work, so that when the applicant is told they showed deception on a particular question, they'll admit that they're lying if they are, indeed, lying. Sometimes this also has the effect of making the applicant dig through their brain to come up with something if they aren't lying, and the fact that they came up with something is proof that they were "lying" since they didn't disclose it prior to the test being run. I personally had a case in which a suspect passed the polygraph even though he actually DID commit the burglary in question, and have heard similar types of things happening in other officers' cases. We even had one applicant under the original agency test that "failed" who was so desperate to clear what he thought was a stain against his name that wanted to pay for his own polygraph and give us the results, so it wouldn't be in a file somewhere that he was a liar. It's a necessary evil of the application process, as it does have a place in getting applicants to admit things that they otherwise would not. However, the hard truth is that it also sometimes cuts good candidates out of the process when they should not be. My opinion is that if you were cut from the process solely for a "failure" on the test with no admission of lying and you otherwise would have been hired, the agency is not doing the job of hiring properly and is probably not a good place to work anyway.
              Be dangerous, and unpredictable... and make a lot of noise. - John Bush, Anthrax

              Comment


              • Sid_415
                Sid_415 commented
                Editing a comment
                Very well put. I still haven’t heard from the agency, so I’m just keeping an open mind about my process with them and may look into other agencies as well in the mean time. Either way things go, I’m staying positive.

                I’ve spoken to a couple of my cop buddies who told me that a good way to take the polygraph is to stay overly confident in your answers and you should pass with flying colors. Do you guys agree to this technique?

            • #10
              Originally posted by Sid_415 View Post
              I’ve spoken to a couple of my cop buddies who told me that a good way to take the polygraph is to stay overly confident in your answers and you should pass with flying colors. Do you guys agree to this technique?!
              It may work, but I couldn't swear to it.
              Be dangerous, and unpredictable... and make a lot of noise. - John Bush, Anthrax

              Comment


              • #11
                I was told once I'd failed the polygraph test, only to have the background investigator tell me 10 minutes later they want to hire me.

                Also told I passed with flying colors, but got the thanks but no thanks letter in the mail 3 days later.

                Bottom line, it's not the end all be all of LE hiring. I would guess your criminal/work history is more of a roadblock than your polygraph answers. You're competing against candidates who have none of that in their background.

                Comment


                • #12
                  I’ve spoken to a couple of my cop buddies who told me that a good way to take the polygraph is to stay overly confident in your answers and you should pass with flying colors. Do you guys agree to this technique?
                  No., a good way to take the poly is not to lie... and a good way to apply for police jobs is to not have any problems worth lying about.

                  I would guess your criminal/work history is more of a roadblock than your polygraph answers. You're competing against candidates who have none of that in their background.
                  Yep.
                  "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                  "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Supposed to look at the "entire person" i.e. their background, work history, credit, arrest if any etc etc. failing a ploy alone "shouldnt" get you not hired but ploy results in combination with other things could swing the pendulum in either direction. Usually ploygraphers from what I have read are careful with saying you passed or you failed. They will use other phrases.

                    I took two polygraphs in my life both full scope. First one lasted 4 hours came back inconclusive, had to come back the next day and got grilled even worse this time 6 hours but "passed". He didn't use the word passed but something along the lines of "I believe you"

                    Either way they suck but arent the end of the world but they do suck lol.

                    Comment

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