Philadelphia P.D.’s Pre-Employment Polygraph Failure Rate Pegged at 63%

Greg Thomas
Philadelphia PD Applicant Greg Thomas (Inquirer Photograph)

In his latest article, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Daniel Rubin documents the plight of Greg Thomas, an investigator for the city court system who recently failed a Philadelphia Police Department pre-employment polygraph despite, he insists, having told the truth.

Rubin notes that since reinstating polygraph screening this year (it had been discontinued in 2002), the Philadelphia P.D. has had a pre-employment polygraph failure rate of 63%. Those who do not pass are rejected. There is no appeal process. Given polygraphy’s lack of scientific underpinnings, there can be no doubt but that many of those 63% are being falsely accused. And given the polygraph’s vulnerability to easily-learned countermeasures, one can have little confidence that the polygraph is screening out those who have the most to hide.’s George Maschke is among those contacted for this article.

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