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I’m pretty skeptical about the polygraph thing.


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  • I’m pretty skeptical about the polygraph thing.

    First off I don’t know if I’ve passed not or yet. It will likely be known next week.

    The first question I have is that when I took my polygraph yesterday I was instructed to listen to a disclosure tape about the process. There it was indicated that 92% of all LEO applicants have taken illicit drugs at least once in their lives.

    So are you telling me I’m an anomaly in the law enforcement process? I’m the 1 out of 10 that has not? Seriously, 92%????? Are they trying to lull folks into a false sense of security that it’s OK to have drug imperfections in their history in order for them to be more candid about it???

    92%??? Really??? Very well then. If they say so.

    Also, after I was unhooked from the broken vacuum cleaner the evaluator tried to broadside me with a follow up question. Interesting I thought. I’ve never heard of anyone getting through one of these without some sort of question being thrown out as a last ditch effort to probe for conflicting or undisclosed information. So I guess this was my time to experience this for myself.

    Now……… after this experience I am left with a dull feeling with the realization that being hired by this agency is relatively inconsequential now. I’ve NOT be hired by MANY agencies. However, this time I’ve made it to the point of no return.

    I passed the psychological so I’m grateful I don’t have to disclose going forward that I failed. That would present a significant hurdle to future applications.

    The polygraph is another one of those “you’re jacked” if you fail. All future applications are going to know this and present me with an additional significant hurdle if I fail.

    This is it. I’m now freaking out. Hired by this agency or not these results greatly impact whether I become a LEO or not PERIOD.


    I think I’m over reacting, but nothing unexpected for someone who’s just taken a polygraph for the first time.

    I will be heart broken if I failed.

    What’s most frustrating is I have absolutely no trust that I can believe anything said by the poly examiner or the psychologist in regard to my performance on the exam. It is my strong opinion that they have been at this a long time and wouldn’t give someone the impression they failed while standing in front of them. So whatever information or impressions I’m given simply are canned responses given to all candidates regardless of their performance. I will only truly know when I’m given the official results by my contact at the PD.

    Odds are I’ll know Tuesday or later.
    "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
    - Cornelius Tacitus

  • #2
    Even if you failed the polygraph, don't let it get to you. When I was applying with a particular agency, the person administering the polygraph stopped the test and told me I was lying. I informed her that I was not, and she began treating me as if I was some kind of criminal. She started the test again, then just stopped it halfway through and told me to "get out. Come back when you feel like telling me the truth." I was shocked... I had already passed a polygraph with a different agency.

    I told my BI with the other agency and he told me not to sweat it. I received my rejection letter from the first agency, and it had a # to call if I had any questions. I called and they informed me that I was rejected "due to practicing deceptive breathing techniques on the polygraph."

    I told my BI about this and he laughed. I've since been hired with the "other" agency and couldn't be happier.

    One thing I learned from the other members is to not give up, and not let one little hurdle get you down.

    Good luck!
    Chesterfield County Police


    • #3
      I'm not a Polygraph Examiner, and I'm not going to try to get you to change your mind concerning the Polygraph. When all the smoke clears and the dust settles, the Polygraph can't tell whether you lied or not. It's an investigative tool, no more, no less. The use of the Polygraph in the hiring process is pretty much an established practice, and not likely to change anytime soon. I personally disagree with Examiners playing headgames with applicants, but not too many agencies are asking my opinion on that subject. I'll tell you one thing you should NEVER do, under any circumstances: That is to admit to conduct for which you were not guilty. If your replies are truthful, you stick to those replies. Ideally, there should be no surprises in a Polygraph Exam. The Examiner should go over any questions he proposes to ask you. You should be given an opportunity to explain any replies which might cause a reaction from the instrument. Many Polygraph Exams are administered under these circumstances. Also, in many instances, in an Examination which is
      inconclusive, the applicant is afforded the opportunity of taking a second exam. It's very easy for me to say, but you haven't recieved your results yet, and it's possible you passed. Keep in mind as well, that Polygraph Examiners/Background Investigators seldom if ever, make hiring decisions. They simply perform their functions in the process, and report their findings to those higher up in the hiring chain.


      • #4
        I am a polygraph examiner. It has been my experience that the 92% figure on drug use is accurate. This is based on admissions made by persons taking an examination. I personally have never used an illegal drug, I'm one of the few such as yourself.

        In most cases your polygraph charts will be reviewed by an examiner that had nothing to do with the administration of your examination. It is called quality control, and is an indicator that the department does not allow one person to make a decision regarding the outcome of the exam.

        I personally don't believe a polygraph examination should be used for DQ purposes, as Philipcal stated, it is a tool used in investigations. Some departments misuse the tools they have.

        If for some reason you had a problem on a question, the departments I have worked with ask for an explanation, then offer a retest with another examiner.

        Regardless of the outcome, don't give up on your desire to be an LEO, and apply at other agencies. The latest statistics I have seen show screening examinations to be 86% correct. That leaves 14% as incorrect or inconclusive. When a retest is conducted on the single question you may have had a problem with, the figures change to over 95% correct results.

        That still leaves 5% incorrect or inconclusive. Qualified examiners understand this. I would wait for an answer and then deal with the situation at that time.

        Best of luck in your quest.
        Honesty Pays, Dishonesty Costs, ARE YOU IN DEBT


        • #5
          Well, I still don't have my results yet. I was hoping to have them before I replied back to your encouraging posts.

          My mind is thinking this is a positive thing (not having my results yet). If I failed I would know sooner than later with a simple letter. If I passed the recruiting LT. might be holding off telling me for a multitude of other reasons (i.e. reserve applicants are low priority for their BG investigators).
          "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

          "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
          - Cornelius Tacitus


          • #6
            Originally posted by SCV-Sop
            Well, I still don't have my results yet. I was hoping to have them before I replied back to your encouraging posts.

            My mind is thinking this is a positive thing (not having my results yet). If I failed I would know sooner than later with a simple letter. If I passed the recruiting LT. might be holding off telling me for a multitude of other reasons (i.e. reserve applicants are low priority for their BG investigators).
            Wow a week or so to get your results that nuts, when I took my poly I was given my results the same day, man that sucks for you, I would be pulling my hair out. Good Luck
            Baltimore City Police

            Written Test: 1/9/09-Passed
            Written PSY Test: 1/9/09-Passed
            Agility Test: 1/10/09-Passed
            Meet BI(Background Packet Submitted): 1/10/09- Passed
            Background Inv. started: 4/15/09 to 6/20/09: Passed
            Medical: 6/26/09-Passed
            PSY Interview: 7/7/09-Passed
            Polygraph: 8/7/09-Passed
            Final processing: 8/24/09-Passed
            HIRED: 9/1/09


            • #7
              I took a Voice Stress and it coincided with my background check.After a four and a half hour interview(the detective pointed out numerous times that I had a lot of "no's" checked in the past drug use part) they put me in a little sound-proof room and gave me the test. 32 questions and I passed.That same test DQ'd 63 others that had "deceptive"answers.Any deception to the key questions and yer out basicly.No excuses.No second chances. Slightly nerve-racking!!


              • #8
                i had the best time on my polygraph for baltimore city, examiner was really nice and laid back. i never got the results because i failed the medical two days later on 'uncorrected' vision requirement or some BS.
                Anyhow, i just took my Howard county poly earlier this week and was wicked nervous, i don't know why because i had done city before. maybe because i really want Howard to work out. I was going real well but kept thinking of an unrelated matter while i was asked a particular question. i know it must have shown up right away, i flinched or was nervous every time it was asked, it didn't help that i was misunderstanding the question in the first place and didn't figure it out until i was on my way home from the test, besides the fact the temperature in the room was antarctic, i was shivering through the whole thing!! The examiner did ask me once he disconnected me from anything if i had anything to add or questions and i told him i had been nervous with this one question, he didn't say anything but asked me no questions about anything else? i didn't know what he was getting at so i said no and i got to leave. I took it Tuesday hut haven't heard back yet. Some in here say they got word from their examiner while they were taking the test, others the day after or two days after. one told me in Howard it has taken up to a month. so i don't know what the hell to think. it's good to know that it is unlikely they will DQ you on the poly alone and immediately. hopefully they will ask me to further explain my responses and i will be in the clear.
                good luck to Ollayols!!
                Last edited by SimonV; 09-26-2009, 02:35 PM. Reason: typo


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