Merrillville, Indiana P.D. Buys Into CVSA

In an article entitled, “New equipment will give police edge on liars,” staff writer Erin Howard of the northwest Indiana Times reports. Excerpt:

MERRILLVILLE — Lie detection is one of many methods police use to solve criminal cases, and the Merrillville Police Department will soon have the latest lie detector technology at its disposal.

The ancient polygraph machine, which measures a person’s heart rate and breathing changes to determine if the person is lying, is being replaced by many departments with a Computer Voice Stress Analyzer. The analyzer detects, measures and displays changes in the voice.

Unlike the polygraph, the voice analyzer requires no wires, instead it uses a microphone plugged into a laptop computer to analyze the subject’s voice responses, said Capt. David Hughes from the National Institute for Truth Verification in Palm Beach, Fla. As the subject speaks, the computer displays each voice pattern, numbers it and saves each chart to a file, he said.

“We’ve never had any type of lie detector or anything like that previously,” Merrillville Police Chief John Shelhart said. “So hopefully this is going to help our officers’ ability to interview suspects and ascertain conclusions on their truthfulness.”

The Town Council approved the purchase of the lie detection technology Tuesday. The $13,000 purchase price includes comprehensive training in use of the technology for four police officers.

While the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer “detects, measures and displays changes in the voice,” these changes have no demonstrable correlation to whether the speaker is telling the truth or not. The article goes on to state that over 1,000 police departments in the United States, including 81 in the state of Indiana, have purchased these devices.

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