LAPD Chief Admits 50% Pre-Employment Polygraph Failure Rate

Los Angeles Times staff writers Jill Leovy and Matea Gold, in an article titled “Parks Defends Record on Crime, Consent Decree,” mention that Police Chief Bernard C. Parks acknowledged a 50% pre-employment polygraph failure rate in a meeting with reporters on Friday, 8 Feb. Excerpt (emphasis added):

On recruiting, Parks argued that factors outside his control have made it more difficult for the LAPD to expand its ranks. These include the city’s slow adoption of his recommended changes to the pension system, a tight labor market for police officers nationwide, and higher standards for recruits, he said. A new polygraph test, for example, eliminates half of all applicants, he said.

“There is not an unlimited reservoir of people who not only want to be police officers, but who are qualified to be police officers,” he said.

LAPD’s new polygraph requirement is not a “higher” standard: it is an arbitrary standard that is costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as the service of the many truthful applicants who are being falsely accused of deception and denied due process. See George Maschke’s Los Angeles Daily News op-ed piece, “LAPD polygraph test results don’t tell full truth,” and for discussion of LAPD polygraph policy, see the California Polygraph Reform Initiative forum of the message board.

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