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Posted: 12/12/2001 2:06:40 PM EDT
Hi guys, I will be switching depts. shortly (God willing). The dept. that I am going to uses a polygraph as part of your investigation. Now I have nothing to hide (nothing serious anyway), but I have never used or even seen a polygraph. My dept. doesnt use them. But I guess Im just scared because I dont know anything about them. Can anyone fill me in on these things. I'm not asking "how to beat" the machine, I just want to know how the machine works, what the line of questioning is, etc. I hear that since Im already a LEO, they ask me more questions about my life since I became a LEO, rather than when I was a kid. I got into a little shit when I was 16 or 17, tried MJ 4 or 5 times and something a little stronger once or twice when I was about 17. Do I have to worry about that? This was when I was 16 or 17. Now Im 29. I dont even drink alcohol anymore. Is it a big deal? Any help would be appreciated. Steven
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 2:24:23 PM EDT
They suck ! And they don't tell much about the truth, or lack of it. Go to http://www.polygraph.com/ I took and failed several polygraphs and never told even a half truth. After I pulled this offline and read it I had a basic understanding of how they worked and how to pass them. I passed the next one I took. Keep in mind that I never did lie. I could go on and on but the bottom line is that the test measures your heart rate, B.P., breathing rate, and sweating. You can give high or low readings by manipulating your B.P. and breathing. The rest is just filler. Good luck.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 2:24:28 PM EDT
Are you going into Internal Affairs or something? Getting Polygraphed after your already LEO for another Dept. sounds pretty strict to me. Depending on where your going I would say the 16 and 17 year old experiments may be a question they ask. They might just want to see how you handle stressful questions and how well you react to the questions. I have lots of friends in LE but never heard of getting Poloygraphed again except for my one friend that went into the DEA. John
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 3:45:11 PM EDT
No kidding.....never heard of laterals getting 'graphed again...how unusual. I've lateraled twice and never had to get tested again. Are you going from a non-sworn to a sworn position? The polygrapher will ask you some base questions, your name, age, residence...all the questions will be measured as a baseline for later ones. Although polygraphs are inadmissable in court, they can of course effect your employment. The polygrapher has to calibrate his machine every so often to keep it within standards apparently, so asking him when the last time he did that might be advantageous to you...or I'd just blow it off...Asking questions like that during an application process can cast doubt anyway. Just be honest, if you've partook in illegal drugs, be honest and say yes, if you taken home a pen without permission from you current employer, say so. One of the questions, at least as a pre-employment for new officers, is if you've stolen anything. They'll ask you beforehand, some polygraphers actually ask the questions first then hook you up..then ask the questions again. I'm not positve what the current procedure is and I'm totally in the dark as how they do things in the east. Honesty is the best policy Good Luck
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 10:14:15 PM EDT
Your not hiding anything are ya.[:0] just hackin at ya.
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 3:33:03 AM EDT
They usually spend a lot of time in the pre-interview so the can calibrate the questions. For example, "Have you ever stolen anything since the age of 16?" gets calibrated to exclude all of the fuel you stole from those Signal REMFs two clearings over (with your Platoon sergeant's blessing) in the army to keep your trucks running. Your frat from school is not considered a "subversive" or "criminal" organization, even though they regularly gave alcohol to minors and subborned the morals of young women. Once they get your questions straightened out, they ask them with you hooked up to the machine. I was so dang nervous on my first one, that they had to go through the whole thing a couple of times. Just make sure that you tell the truth and relax about it.
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 10:11:09 AM EDT
Hunduh -- I applied as a volunteer LEO (Level III Reserve) with my city. I was requuired to undergo all POST requirements, including a thorough backround investigation. The polygraph is required of *all* applicants, even those LEO's who have retired and reapply as "dinosours" (part-time investigators for performing backround checks, etc.). It's natrual to be nervous, and the polygrapher knows this -- especially if it's your first one. Like you, I tried marijuana in H.S. and had a run-in with the law when I was 16 years old. I don't think they're looking for someone who is "squeeky clean", but someone who is honest. Interestingly, I told the polygrapher that I had only 2 hours sleep the night before (I work in cardiac surgery) and was very tired. He told me that my response to his questions would be measured slower, which is somewhat in my favor if I were lying. Not that it really mattered, but it was a consideration. Besides the typical drug questions, he asked if I had ever forced sex on another person or had sex with animals (I'm not joking, although I found that question quite funny ). There were also questions about stealing from employers. It's a very sensitive test, but it doesn't tell whether you're telling the truth. It just reports any physiologic response you have to hearing a question. If he asks you about a response you had to a particular question after the test, just say that you felt "burned-out" or you were loosing your concentration. I'm sure it won't be counted against you if it's a minor blip on his graph. I don't think that anyone has ever passed a polygraph because of all the false negatives that are recorded. Just relax and get through it. Good luck and let us know how it turns out. -- Ale
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 1:01:23 PM EDT
Very Interesting! It is actually very common here for an officer to get poly'd each time he changes departments. And, you are right, there is an extra section of questions that a beginning level candidate does not get. This section is specific to your conduct as an officer at your current dept. They asked me: Had I ever stolen or illegally disposed of evidence? Had I ever had a drink on the job? Had I ever lied in a report? Ever had sex while on duty? Ever lied on the stand? Ever used excessive force that never came to light? and the "big one"... Ever been involved in domestic violence at home that went unreported? I passed all of this, but goddamn, talk about dragging you through the wringer! Good luck!
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 5:27:27 PM EDT
Im not moving to a new position in my dept, Im moving into a new Police dept altogether, God willing. I have had it with NYC, and it is definitely time for me to move somewhere a lot slower, and a lot less crowded. Im still nervous.........
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 11:03:43 PM EDT
Sir, I'm sorry if I mislead, I didn't mean a change within the police department itself, I meant changing to another agency altogether. Very understandable about having enough NYC, good luck to you.
Link Posted: 12/15/2001 9:49:25 PM EDT
No, not you DC306, a little further up someone said something about moving around within my own dept. I just wanted to clarify that it is a different Police agency, in a different state. Thanks!!
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 4:50:17 PM EDT
Hunduh, I recieved your e-mail but might be having trouble responding. I don't have the file on disk anymore but do have a copy on paper. If you e-mail me an address where you would like me to send it I'll be happy to burn you a copy and mail it to you. Hobe
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