Polygraph Dragnet Planned in Houston Fire Department Harassment Investigation

Fox 26 News KRVI in Houston, Texas reports that all employees at the Houston Fire Department’s Station 54 will be asked to submit to lie detector “testing” in a racial and sexual harassment investigation:

HOUSTON – FOX 26 has learned that every employee at Houston Fire Department Fire Station 54 will be asked to take a polygraph test.

Station 54 became the center of the controversy after two female firefighters found sexist and racist graffiti on the walls of their dorms. FOX 26 was the first to report the alleged incident.

Joseph Ahmad, the attorney representing Jane Draycott and Paula Keyes also confirmed the two women underwent a voluntary city polygraph test earlier Monday. This is in addition to the polygraph testing done last week by an independent examiner.

Last week Ahmad said Draycott passed the private test with flying colors.

This planned polygraph dragnet has little prospect of getting to the truth of this matter. Polygraphy has no scientific basis: it’s inherently biased against the truthful, and it is quite common for innocent people to wrongly fail. On the other hand, liars can pass using simple countermeasures such as those outlined in AntiPolygraph.org’s free book, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector (1 mb PDF).

If the Houston Fire Department is serious about investigating this matter, then rather than resorting to voodoo science, it should conduct a thorough evidence-based investigation.

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