The Chicago Tribune reported Friday that examiners in the Chicago Police Department’s polygraph unit have been moved from the forensic services division to human resources. Instead of conducting exams during the course of criminal investigations, they will focus more of their efforts on administering pre-employment polygraph exams to police officer candidates. Such a move should make Chicagoland residents nervous for many reasons.
When one realizes that, according to the same Tribune report, CPD officials scaled back their use of the polygraph in the course of criminal investigations because of too many false confessions, the fact that the same false confession-generating technology will be used to screen prospective police officers, the prospect of more corruption and wrongdoing inside the CPD looms increasingly large. After all, Edward Snowden passed several pre-employment polygraph exams, you know.
In my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I address the subject of polygraph-generated false confessions and cite experts such as Dr. Drew Campbell Richardson, a former FBI supervisory special agent assigned to the bureau’s Laboratory Division and a man I describe as the “Mother of All Polygraph Skeptics.” He had a lot to say about false confessions, including the following, when he testified before a U.S. Senate committee:
“Because of the nature of this type of examination, it would normally be expected to produce large numbers of false positive results (falsely accusing an examinee of lying about some issue). As a result of the great consequences of doing this with large numbers of law enforcement and intelligence community officers, the test has now been manipulated to reduce false positive results, but consequently has no power to detect deception in espionage and other national security matters.”
To learn more about what Dr. Richardson had to say about the polygraph, read FBI Agent Thrashes Polygraph During Senate Testimony.
To read more about the polygraph and the federal government’s reliance on the polygraph that former CIA Director John Deutch called “truly insane,” order a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO.
The product of an exhaustive four-year investigation into the federal government’s use of credibility assessment technologies, including the polygraph, the book has been ENDORSED by several high-profile Americans who understand the implications of my findings.