Normal Topic City Jobs and Polygraphs (Read 7736 times)
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City Jobs and Polygraphs
Oct 31st, 2005 at 7:43pm
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I've read all about how failing polygraph tests negatively affect those who apply for FBI, CIA, etc. positions but I was wondering what kind of lasting affect they have on City Job Applications.

I took one polygraph in order to volunteer with a local city police department. It was a horrible experience and I never heard back from the city PD and don't actually know if I passed or failed. I'm assuming I failed as they had accepted me to start volunteering pending passing of the polygraph test.

After reading about polygraph tests there is no way I want to take another one as I am a naturally very nervous person and despite my being completely honest there's no guarantee I'll pass. However, all city job positions in my area require polygraph tests. If I ever want to get into the field that I have received my degrees in I'm going to have to take polygraph tests.

So, my question is, say I apply for all these jobs with city agencies, get far enough in the process to have to take a polygraph test, and then fail the test. Would my failing the test show up when I apply for another position with the same city? Should I fail would it show up if I applied for another job in the same state but a different city?  Do city jobs give you multiple chances to pass the poly?

Any help or insight would be very much appreciated! I desperately want a job in the field I am educated in but have not been applying for any jobs as they all require a polygraph test. It makes me sick to think that I've wasted tens of thousands of dollars on degrees I may not ever be able to use!

  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: City Jobs and Polygraphs
Reply #1 - Oct 31st, 2005 at 8:29pm
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Phil413 wrote on Oct 31st, 2005 at 7:43pm:
So, my question is, say I apply for all these jobs with city agencies, get far enough in the process to have to take a polygraph test, and then fail the test. Would my failing the test show up when I apply for another position with the same city?


That seems quite likely.

Quote:
Should I fail would it show up if I applied for another job in the same state but a different city?


There may not be a statewide polygraph database, but you'll be asked about applications with prior agencies. And, in any event, polygraphers always ask about any prior polygraphs you've taken.

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Do city jobs give you multiple chances to pass the poly?


Some do.

One option you might consider is to move to a city or state that does not polygraph. In this regard, see the message thread, List of Non-Poly LE agencies?  Want to start one?

I fully empathasize with your situation. I also volunteered to support my local police department (LAPD) as an unpaid, technical reservist to provide linguistic support to the Anti-Terrorist Division. I ended up being falsely accused of countermeasures by one of the rudest, most unprofessional public employees I've ever had the misfortune to meet. No good deed goes unpunished, I suppose.
« Last Edit: Oct 31st, 2005 at 9:33pm by George W. Maschke »  

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Re: City Jobs and Polygraphs
Reply #2 - Oct 31st, 2005 at 9:08pm
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That's exactly what I had been afraid of. I very naively went into this whole polygraph experience assuming I'd pass with flying colors as I truly have never done anything (never had even a sip of alcohol, never even touched a cigarette and have never been around drugs of any kind, never had a ticket, never looked at porn etc., never even pulled over for speeding) so had nothing to lie about.

Sometimes I wonder if I should just take a chance in the possibility I'd pass. On the other hand, I'm afraid the person giving the polygraph would be even harder on me since I've already taken one test and have read so much about the subject. I also don't want a bunch of failed polygraph tests haunting me for the rest of my life.

Thanks for your response. I really appreciate your taking the time to reply.
  
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Re: City Jobs and Polygraphs
Reply #3 - Nov 5th, 2005 at 3:01am
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I was currently in the process to be hired on as a patrol officer for the city that I currently work for.  On the first poly, the examiner said that I was being deceptive on two issues (my background info and my alcohol use).
They let me retest, the second time they said that I was being deceptive on the alcohol issues.  The second time I offered them blood to test for alcohol.  I had my results looked at by another certified examiner.  This person told me that the questions they asked were invalid.  The third question on alcohol was the relevant question that I answered yes to.  The examiner told me that they are trained that no one answers that question with a "yes".  The question that I was asked was "Have you been completely honest about your alcohol use?"  This is the one that I answered yes to.  So it is a double edge sword.  Had I answered no, they would have turned around and said that I lied, and by answering yes, they are automatically going to fail me, because they were trained to.  The second examiner told me that any examiner can pass or fail someone.  It all depends on how they word the question, time spent in the interview process, and so on.  So to answer your question, I believe that it all depends on the city and the examiner.  If they truely want you to pass, you will.  Remember, the agency that you apply for, no matter who they use, pays for the examination to be conducted.  Even if you pay for the second exam, you will be more than likely told that you have to use the same company or people that they use, in order for them to accept the results.  Also; don't think for a second that the poly is final, there are still other options you can go through.  Most agency's were I live do not hold the poly results at a high stature.  For some reason, the department that I work for do.  I'm still considering other options to take, including filing complaints with the city and looking at other options.  Explore what the laws say in your state and what your options are.
  
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City Jobs and Polygraphs

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