Polygraph Examinations Required During Hiring Process




Kallies, Kelly

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Law enforcement agencies have the ability to utilize different methods of screening tactics during the hiring process when selecting a candidate. Government entities should utilize the polygraph resource in order to select the best applicant to uphold the duties of law enforcement; to serve and protect the members within the community (Park, 2015). Law enforcement agencies should implement polygraph examinations during the hiring process. A polygraph examination is a screening tool for information verification and identify falsification. Polygraph examinations are utilized to identify an applicant’s past behavior, which may be an area of concern for future actions since organizations can be held accountable for the actions of their employees (Fuss & Snowden, 2004). It is the law enforcement agency’s duty to conduct thorough backgrounds with each applicant to ensure an in-depth selection process (Tooker, 2012). Polygraph examinations were believed to identify a lie just on the basis of better than chance (Honts, 1991); but in more recent studies have identified that results are well above chance (White, 2018). Mandated training requirements and licensing regulations can reduce reliability issues which revolve around the lack of uniformity in training throughout the country (Burkey, 1965). Utilizing the polygraph examination can assist in the selection process through disclosure by self-admissions, detection of problematic areas for further investigation, and deterrence of selecting unsuitable applicants (Handler, Honts, Krapohl, Nelson, & Griffin, 2009). All law enforcement agencies should implement polygraph examinations into the background investigation stage during the hiring process.



Police--Selection and Appointment, Police Recruits--Psychological Testing, Polygraph