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  #1  
Old 10-12-2012, 3:04 PM
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Default Failed Poly

So I failed my poly(or so I was told) now I know it's just voodoo science for sure. Good luck to any future LEO's taking theirs. My advice, Don't be nervous.
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Old 10-12-2012, 3:05 PM
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So what question do you think tripped you up?
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Old 10-12-2012, 3:18 PM
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Don't let 1 poly discourage you from continuing.
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Old 10-12-2012, 4:00 PM
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I wasn't told but according to my examiner, I reacted to every question thus failing everything. I was nervous about failing even though I was telling the truth, so I ended up failing. I felt relaxed with the normal questions like "are you sitting down" but when asked about what affected me I could feel my heart beating faster

Thank you, I will keep applying to other agencies and taking polys.
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  #5  
Old 10-12-2012, 4:06 PM
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A friend was hired by the sheriff but they do pick on you for everything. They asked is she ever stole anything to which she said no, then they said what about a pen from work, etc, before you know if she could have been confessing to the Lindbergh kidnaping.
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Old 10-12-2012, 4:13 PM
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Originally Posted by winnre View Post
A friend was hired by the sheriff but they do pick on you for everything. They asked is she ever stole anything to which she said no, then they said what about a pen from work, etc, before you know if she could have been confessing to the Lindbergh kidnaping.
Some people just react to those kinds of questions with nerviousness and anxiety. It does not mean they are lying. It means they get nervious easily and prodding questions about uncomfortable subject matter makes them uncomfortable.

They really need to stop using these things. They do not tell you anything useful.
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Old 10-12-2012, 4:17 PM
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Some people just react to those kinds of questions with nerviousness and anxiety. It does not mean they are lying. It means they get nervious easily and prodding questions about uncomfortable subject matter makes them uncomfortable.

They really need to stop using these things. They do not tell you anything useful.
A good background investigation should be all that's necessary unless there is a reason to believe the applicant is hiding or lying about something.
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2012, 4:18 PM
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A good background investigation should be all that's necessary unless there is a reason to believe the applicant is hiding or lying about something.
I think there is a shortage of time for background investigators and an over abunance of applicants.

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  #9  
Old 10-12-2012, 6:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam1 View Post
I wasn't told but according to my examiner, I reacted to every question thus failing everything. I was nervous about failing even though I was telling the truth, so I ended up failing. I felt relaxed with the normal questions like "are you sitting down" but when asked about what affected me I could feel my heart beating faster

Thank you, I will keep applying to other agencies and taking polys.
That's an inconclusive test, not a failure, and a bad examiner.

I do not know why they still use these things -- there is a reason why poly tests results are not admissible in court.
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  #10  
Old 10-12-2012, 6:34 PM
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any more to this story? I've taken plenty of poly's, (passed since Im hired lol) and before the test is actually given, you spend at least an hour going over the pre-poly questionaire so the person administering the test can compare the answers you provided to your backgrounder to the answers your giving to him in person.

They most always have copies of what you have turned in to the PD when you show up to take the test. If you are fudging, they will know and immediately make note of it to report back. This interview also clears the air so to speak on any suspect adverse reactions you could have during the test by "getting it all out on the table." It's the interviewers job to try and get you admit things you haven't said before.

The test is normally based on a pre-determined set of questions provided by the department, and questions pulled from your interview with the poly person. The interviewer should run through the test twice, the first to set a baseline reading for heart rate, breathing, etc, and the second to substantiate the first results. The newer tests go as far to have you sit on a sensor pad so the interviewer will know if you are purposefully trying to subvert the test by flinching, squeezing your toes, buttcheeks, etc. If these reactions stop the test twice, you're done.

Now with all that said, I honestly believe that the machine can't tell if you are lying. It senses physiological responses to the questions you are asked. If you have stayed consistant with the answers you provided the PD and the answers you provided the interviewer, theoretically you should be able to pass, even with an elevated heart rate, higher than average breathing, or sweaty hands.

The thing that sucks is that it's completely subjective on the opinion of the person who's administered the test. The bottom line is to stick with whatever you've written down and be completely honest with yourself throughout the hiring process. Your integrity and honesty are primary traits your prosepctive agency is looking for. Remember too that any future agency you apply to will have access to any materials you turned in during the hiring process so once again, consistancy is crucial.

Good luck to you.
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  #11  
Old 10-12-2012, 9:17 PM
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I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just about every person I have spoken to about the poly over the years has had the examiner pull something to try to get you to confess to more than what you said in the BI and their initial interview with them.

There are some departments that put way too much faith in them. They need to remember Aldrich Ames aced his while he was spying for the Soviets.
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  #12  
Old 10-12-2012, 9:54 PM
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Q: "Have you ever paid for sex?"

A: "Of course... I'm married."
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  #13  
Old 10-12-2012, 10:02 PM
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It's their job to say you failed. It's all a game. The poly is used to get investigative leads. I "failed" my first one, too, because I was nervous. I've been a cop for a very long time now.....don't let one poly get you down.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:20 PM
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I failed my first one because I had issues "breathing normally", whatever that is. They told me to return in two weeks. I passed the second one, but not without having to explain some "inconsistencies". Damn thing flagged a lot of answers as being deceptive. Things that both myself and the examiner knew for a fact I was being honest on. In addition to that, some of the control questions in which I was supposed to lie came back as me being honest.

I did pass a voice-stress analysis with another agency. I found it to be more accurate and less intimidating.

After this, my opinion on polygraphs is that they are nothing but high-tech witch hunts.
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  #15  
Old 10-13-2012, 7:25 AM
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Q: "Have you ever paid for sex?"

A: "Of course... I'm married."

^^^^^^
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  #16  
Old 10-13-2012, 7:53 AM
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I failed LAPD. I then passed SB County Probation. I was on the wait list for an academy date and received a letter indicating that I wasn't accepted because the results from the poly said I associate with people who use drugs. What a f'n joke! I was so pissed off. Such BS and so not true. I went to school for 5 years to get my Bachelors in Criminal Justice at CSULB and attempted several agencies and gave up for now. I was told by my background investigator that I'm a fantastic candidate, but I should aim for a smaller department where they overlook little things, and to try again in about two years. I feel like I wasted my time in school with a useless degree, should've majored in Business or something more useful, at least I'd have something to fall back on. I have friends with Sociology degrees, Political Science, and they couldn't find work in their field so they became cops. I can't even become a cop right now and I'm left with a degree I can't really use. It's frustrating. I'm thinking of just joining the military as an officer, going to OCS using my degree there.

Keep trying, I know I will in about two years again before I get too old for the cut off.

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  #17  
Old 10-13-2012, 10:19 AM
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Screw poly's. Useless witch hunting psuedo science which has such an abysmal reputation that courts don't allow it for anything. It's been rated at best, 75% accuracy, which is not good enough for anything other than making a bet in Vegas.

I've passed plenty of them and encountered enough polygraphers who thought they were NASA scientists playing CSI FBI CIA NSA UFO NFL NAACP USA USA agents. The whole thing is a crock and designed to make you confess to things that you didn't confess to up to that point, is all. They get a hook on something then pester you to admit something until you either admit to it or fail you for evasive responses. Whatever. It's a totally self fulfilling prophecy for them because they can interpret it however they want if they already have a preconceived notion in mind.
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  #18  
Old 10-13-2012, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by NorCalPatriot View Post
any more to this story? I've taken plenty of poly's, (passed since Im hired lol) and before the test is actually given, you spend at least an hour going over the pre-poly questionaire so the person administering the test can compare the answers you provided to your backgrounder to the answers your giving to him in person.

They most always have copies of what you have turned in to the PD when you show up to take the test. If you are fudging, they will know and immediately make note of it to report back. This interview also clears the air so to speak on any suspect adverse reactions you could have during the test by "getting it all out on the table." It's the interviewers job to try and get you admit things you haven't said before.

The test is normally based on a pre-determined set of questions provided by the department, and questions pulled from your interview with the poly person. The interviewer should run through the test twice, the first to set a baseline reading for heart rate, breathing, etc, and the second to substantiate the first results. The newer tests go as far to have you sit on a sensor pad so the interviewer will know if you are purposefully trying to subvert the test by flinching, squeezing your toes, buttcheeks, etc. If these reactions stop the test twice, you're done.

Now with all that said, I honestly believe that the machine can't tell if you are lying. It senses physiological responses to the questions you are asked. If you have stayed consistant with the answers you provided the PD and the answers you provided the interviewer, theoretically you should be able to pass, even with an elevated heart rate, higher than average breathing, or sweaty hands.

The thing that sucks is that it's completely subjective on the opinion of the person who's administered the test. The bottom line is to stick with whatever you've written down and be completely honest with yourself throughout the hiring process. Your integrity and honesty are primary traits your prosepctive agency is looking for. Remember too that any future agency you apply to will have access to any materials you turned in during the hiring process so once again, consistancy is crucial.

Good luck to you.
All this info is accurate, I had the butt pad and pads on my feet. Not much more to this story other than at the end of the test my examiner wanted a confession and tried to be my friend saying he could help me out etc this was for CBP btw. What ticked me off the most is I had a physical fitness test/interview/psych all at the same date for NDOC in Las Vegas and I chose to take my poly instead of annoying my examiner and rescheduling.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:41 AM
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Thanks for the encouragement guys. I've been kinda down about it because I almost made it to the academy. Will send off applications to local departments while obtaining my CDL and give truck driving a shot.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:42 AM
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Walked in, sat down. First question: "Do you own any illegal assault rifles? "
Got up, walked out.
What the heck does that question have to do with a part-time job sending out red-light camera tickets?
What a sham.
Took another while I had a cold and was flagged for being "deceptive" because I coughed. Voodoo science...and no appeal or recourse.
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  #21  
Old 10-13-2012, 4:03 PM
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Originally Posted by OldShooter32 View Post
Walked in, sat down. First question: "Do you own any illegal assault rifles? "
Got up, walked out.
What the heck does that question have to do with a part-time job sending out red-light camera tickets?
What a sham.
Took another while I had a cold and was flagged for being "deceptive" because I coughed. Voodoo science...and no appeal or recourse.
Not sure if you are serious, but I'm guessing they want to hire someone that obeys the law..
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Old 10-13-2012, 4:29 PM
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My local Sheriff office uses CVSA (voice stress analysis). You think polygraph is voodoo science try a CVSA.
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Old 10-13-2012, 4:32 PM
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The poly is only as good as the person giving the test.
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Old 10-13-2012, 5:58 PM
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There are alot of agencies that don't require poly's. A good friend of mine flunked a poly at one agency, turned right around and got hired at the agency that I used to work at. While they didn't require a poly, they put you through the wringer on everything else to make sure you are worthy of hiring. OP, don't let a failed poly discourage you. Keep applying.
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Old 10-13-2012, 6:41 PM
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My local Sheriff office uses CVSA (voice stress analysis). You think polygraph is voodoo science try a CVSA.
Lol, I agree. I took one and there was one question I "reacted" to. Couldn't tell the difference in my voice.

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Old 10-13-2012, 7:00 PM
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My experience was nearly exactly the same. After going through the questions the first time, the examiner gave me a speech about how my breathing was all over the place and to just "breath normal." So the rest of the time I was freaking out about how I was breathing. Then after the 2nd round he told me that I was rocking back in forth in the chair and setting off the pressure pad, I was sitting as still as a statue. I told him that I was doing my best and I knew it was in my best interest to cooperate fully, so why would I be messing around? He said he'd give me another shot and at the end of the 3rd round of questions, he got fed up and said that I was worthless and the test was inconclusive. He said he'd re-schedule me with another examiner.

I got a cold when I was supposed to re-test and the 2nd examiner said I couldn't take the test. By that time I ended up getting another job and didn't feel like going through the stress and anxiety of another poly. I'm done with LEO jobs for now. Maybe in the future. Good luck OP.

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Originally Posted by noob_tube View Post
I failed my first one because I had issues "breathing normally", whatever that is. They told me to return in two weeks. I passed the second one, but not without having to explain some "inconsistencies". Damn thing flagged a lot of answers as being deceptive. Things that both myself and the examiner knew for a fact I was being honest on. In addition to that, some of the control questions in which I was supposed to lie came back as me being honest.

I did pass a voice-stress analysis with another agency. I found it to be more accurate and less intimidating.

After this, my opinion on polygraphs is that they are nothing but high-tech witch hunts.
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  #27  
Old 10-13-2012, 7:22 PM
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Not sure if you are serious, but I'm guessing they want to hire someone that obeys the law..
He retired after 30 plus years, probably thought the question was silly, which it was...
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Old 10-13-2012, 8:19 PM
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I have ZERO faith in polygraph machines. They don't tell you anything. They just record your physiological activity. A change in the heart rate, or increased moisture in the largest organ of your body, your SKIN! The "results" are nothing more than the opinion of the guy taking the test. He would be just as accurate if he pulled his opinion out of his rectum.

The fact is that you are not a machine. Your mind (your subconscious) brings up thoughts and even plays through little "mind movies" spontaneously, and you have no control over that. Ask any polygraph examiner if the machine is capable of reading ONLY your physiological reaction to the question he asked, and not your physiological reaction to a thought that passed through your mind before, during or after your answer. If he is HONEST he will tell you that there is no way to determine the source of the reaction. He can only record it.

So you were a little boy, and you were accused of stealing another child's toy in a playground. You KNOW you didn't take it, and you know which kid took it, but when you told the truth, "I DIDN'T TAKE IT!" the adults decided you were lying anyway, and you were punished.

So now you are sitting there as an adult, and you are hooked to a polygraph. the man tells you that the machine will ACCURATELY tell him whether or not you are telling the truth. He asks, you, "Did you take the money from the cash register?"

If you are brain dead, I suppose you could answer that question truthfully and show NO reaction, but if you aren't a liberal you will most certainly flash through your mind the last time you told the truth and they didn't believe you. You might relive the punishment in an instant, or even entertain the thought of finding and punishing the kid who did take it now that you have been reminded of that incident ... ALL of this will be recorded on the polygraph, and the guy will make a notation that you lied when you answered the question because he recorded a reaction.

I will NOT let some BOZO determine my fate and put my reputation into question by recording my heart rate or acidic level of my skin and belch out some supposedly "educated" conclusion about my honesty. I always tell the truth, and if that isn't good enough for someone, F--K 'EM!
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Old 10-14-2012, 9:34 PM
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I like the polygraph personally. It's a good investigative tool if anything, and it is going to show them how your body responds under mental duress. It's really not a "lie detector" but it's just a fantastic way to weed people out.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:05 AM
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That's all it is good for, getting people to DQ themselves.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:10 AM
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In 1975, when I took the poly for LASD, marijuana was a big issue still. The examiner asked if I had ever used any and I said no (yes, I realize I was one of the few who was a teen in the mid to late 1960s that hadn't and that looked suspicious). We had gone over that question in the pre exam and I said the same, explaining that I had played cards with friends who did, but didn't ever recall getting a high from the smoke.

When he asked me the question under the machine, he told me the needle had moved a lot. I stayed with my answer, knowing he wanted to see if I would change it. I told him that I was nervous and he said the poly was "factored" for that. He then exited the room. I knew he and probably others were staring at me thru the one glass, but I just sat there. He finally came in and said I passed.

Ironically, I faced him about 4yrs. later as a possible witness in an alleged deputy wrong doing and he tried the same thing. This time when he went out to stare at me, I slumped in the chair, folded my legs, smiled and waved at him thru the mirror. He reentered and told me I was excused. He didn't look very happy that I wasn't scared by his tactics.

OP, keep on trying and I'd recommend that to the others who posted they have given up if that is the career they really want.
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Old 10-15-2012, 1:28 AM
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I passed my poly that I took for a previous department, but I still don't trust the damn things. The only thing that kept going on in my head that I was nervous about was "What if the machine thinks I'm lying, even though I'm not?" That's the only stressful thing about them, since it's only a piece of machinery, what if the damn thing doesn't work properly and gives a false reaction?
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Old 10-15-2012, 2:07 AM
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When I first took the poly I was in a room the size of a small closet with a very aggressive interviewer and they said my results were inconclusive and that they would probably call me back in a few months to re do the test. They called my house before I even made it home to reschedule for the next day. When I went in the second time I was in a much larger room with a more relax person and he said everything looked fine and he just needed to formally analyze the results and I would be notified by mail. I received a letter in a few days stating I passed. I think it's all just a big game. I also had never used marijuana in my life and the first interview was very aggressive on that subject. I think marijuana usage must be so common they don't believe you.
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Old 10-15-2012, 8:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacticalcity View Post
Some people just react to those kinds of questions with nerviousness and anxiety. It does not mean they are lying. It means they get nervious easily and prodding questions about uncomfortable subject matter makes them uncomfortable.

They really need to stop using these things. They do not tell you anything useful.
Exactly, Ive passed a poly and failed them. I will admit I get nervous/anxious in those situations, because I over think the crap out of everything.
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Old 10-15-2012, 8:24 AM
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...

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Old 10-15-2012, 8:58 AM
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Originally Posted by noob_tube View Post
I failed my first one because I had issues "breathing normally", whatever that is.
I just went for my LAPD poly a couple weeks ago and this is what happened to me. Well, he said I didnt fail; it was inconclusive so I have to schedule another one. Im not sure how much my breathing will change, so Im unsure of going through their poly again. I have heard that two inconclusive polys will disqualify you from going further in the application process...
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:09 PM
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762.DEFENSE 762.DEFENSE is offline
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Just a heads up-not every department uses the "polygraph," I have a friend who failed several poly's for being nervous, or jittery from caffeine-since more appointments are super early in the morning.

So after several "failed polygraphs" he went to Monterey Park-where they do a "voice stress analysis." He then passed-and has been on with them for 2 years now.

Just keep your head up, and use this experience as nothing more than a learning experience.

Good luck!
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Old 10-15-2012, 2:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Notorious View Post
That's all it is good for, getting people to DQ themselves.
In part a true answer. My wife worked backgrounds for a couple years and you would be surprised at some of the things people admit before, during or after the poly. Thankfully, the poly helped to weed out these freaks, idiots and perverts.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:25 PM
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Most departments allow you to "challenge" the poly or the psych exams. Three guys in my academy class paid for their own psych exams after "failing" the first one. my patrol partner "failed" his poly and he was one of the most honest guys I have ever known. The test is a mess. If you want it hunt it down and don't give up. don't get discouraged and keep moving forward at all times.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrist View Post
I also had never used marijuana in my life and the first interview was very aggressive on that subject. I think marijuana usage must be so common they don't believe you.
You nailed it. I have done dozens of backgrounds. The one guy who told me he never tried any drugs.....I still think he was lying.....he passed.
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