Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) I've always wanted to be in law enforcement... (Read 28869 times)
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I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Apr 21st, 2008 at 7:39pm
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I've always wanted to be in law enforcement as a police officer.  A police officer friend of mine was telling me that you have to pass a polygraph test and in his list of things they ask you, he included child pornography.  I am 18 and graduated high school now, but all during high school pictures of naked girls in high school (probably age 15-18) were all over the place being circulated to me through text messages as well as email. Also, I still have media of me with old girlfriends from a year or two ago and we both were not 18 at the time. I guess most of these pictures could technically be classified as child pornography.

Its been on my mind 24/7 now......

Does this mean I can no longer become a police officer since technically I have been both in possession of and have distributed child porn?
  
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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #1 - Apr 21st, 2008 at 8:52pm
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speed204 wrote on Apr 21st, 2008 at 7:39pm:
Does this mean I can no longer become a police officer since technically I have been both in possession of and have distributed child porn?


Relax son... If the worse thing you have done as a teenager is look at teenage naked girls, you don't have any worries.  Hell, you can have sex with teen age girls as a teenager and not worry, (as long as the age difference isn't too great, and the teenager isn't too young.

Because no police agency of any size or professionalism will hire teenagers to work anyway, you have a few years before worring about taking a polygraph.

My advice, either go to college or go into the military, (military police would be a good choice).  About the age of 23 is a really good starting point for a cop, which means you can get your BA or put in at least one if not two stints in the army.

At your age, drinking and driving is a HUGE issue, as is speeding and reckless driving.  Keep thy nose clean, and get some good life experience.
  

"Although the degree of reliability of polygraph evidence may depend upon a variety of identifiable factors, there is simply no way to know in a particular case whether a polygraph examiner's Conclusion is accurate, because certain doubts and uncertainties plague even the best polygraph exams."  (Justice Clarence Thomas writing in United States v. Scheffer, 523 U.S. 303, 118 S.Ct. 1261, 140 L.Ed.2d 413, 1998.)
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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #2 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 12:22am
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But when they ask me that question, isnt that little tidbit being on my mind going to mess up the polygraph?

I live in NJ and would like to go to NJ state police if I could make it.  I'm a little relieved to see them on the list of departments that don't polygraph
  
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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #3 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 2:12am
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But when they ask me that question, isnt that little tidbit being on my mind going to mess up the polygraph?


Dude.  That violates one of the guidelines for passing a polygraph.

DO NOT MAKE ADMISSIONS CONCERNING A RELEVANT QUESTION, no matter how minor it may be.

From what you've admitted to here, doesn't sound like you were involved in child porn........but

If "engaging in child porn" is one of the relevant questions, and you "react" to that question on their magic box, then admit what you've admitted here, they may very well blow it out of all proportion and use  it to fail you. 

You'd probably be better off, assuming you react and you probably won't, Then telling them you know somebody who was molested as a child.  So the topic of child porn, molestation...etc. is sensitive for you.

You have the same problem most of us "false positives" HAD.  We actually believed the test was accurate.  That, and making minor admissions is what got us failed.

Read the "Lie Behind the Lie Detector".

TC
  

"There is no direct and unequivocal connection between lying and these physiological states of arousal...(referring to polygraph)."

Dr. Phil Zimbardo, Phd, Standford University
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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #4 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 4:56pm
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speed204 wrote on Apr 22nd, 2008 at 12:22am:
But when they ask me that question, isnt that little tidbit being on my mind going to mess up the polygraph?


YOu will be asked to fill out a criminal history background, which details all your life's criminal history, (like looking at child pornography).

Then, they ask you something like this.  (Other than what you told us about, have you looked at any child pornography?)

If you can truthfully say no, then you have a 50/50 chance of passing, since the polygraph is unreliable anyway.
  

"Although the degree of reliability of polygraph evidence may depend upon a variety of identifiable factors, there is simply no way to know in a particular case whether a polygraph examiner's Conclusion is accurate, because certain doubts and uncertainties plague even the best polygraph exams."  (Justice Clarence Thomas writing in United States v. Scheffer, 523 U.S. 303, 118 S.Ct. 1261, 140 L.Ed.2d 413, 1998.)
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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #5 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 5:12pm
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T.M. Cullen wrote on Apr 22nd, 2008 at 2:12am:
Quote:
But when they ask me that question, isnt that little tidbit being on my mind going to mess up the polygraph?


Dude.  That violates one of the guidelines for passing a polygraph.

DO NOT MAKE ADMISSIONS CONCERNING A RELEVANT QUESTION, no matter how minor it may be.

From what you've admitted to here, doesn't sound like you were involved in child porn........but

If "engaging in child porn" is one of the relevant questions, and you "react" to that question on their magic box, then admit what you've admitted here, they may very well blow it out of all proportion and use  it to fail you.  

You'd probably be better off, assuming you react and you probably won't, Then telling them you know somebody who was molested as a child.  So the topic of child porn, molestation...etc. is sensitive for you.

You have the same problem most of us "false positives" HAD.  We actually believed the test was accurate.  That, and making minor admissions is what got us failed.

Read the "Lie Behind the Lie Detector".

TC


speed204,

firstly, this is a bit premature since most PD's require you to be 21 years old to apply.  But for others reading this board I submit the following:  

Mr Cullen's advice is just enough to keep you from ever being a police officer, EVER!  Any rationalization that looking at child porn (regardless of your age) is not involved in child porn is just that, rationalizing and minimizing and cause for failing the polygraph test.  

There seems to be an aggressive effort on this board to recruit more members of the false positive club by providing bad information, get you to be stupid in your pre-employment test, then fail, not get the job and join the disgruntled throngs of folks here (estimated at about five or six) who whine and bitch about not passing their test.  Cry

For my real answer; yes, it will be on your mind.  Solution:  tell them what you saw, when and estimate how many times and as stated (truthfully), they will qualify the question.  This way, you should have no problems in your test.

Sackett

P.S.  Oh yeah!  Reading TLBTLD will not cause any problems on your test.  Using and trying to employ what you read will!
  
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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #6 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 6:23pm
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Speed204,

Also, consider the National Academy of Science report

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309084369

which recommends scrapping pre-employment testing altogether. 

They estimate that, for every liar they actually detect, there will be a hundred or more innocent people who fail the test while being truthful.  That from the nation's top scientific researchers. 

The goal of a pre-employment test is not to test the veracity of a few relevant test questions, the goal IS TO SEE WHAT THEY CAN GET YOU TO ADMIT TO, no matter how minor, or insignificant.  They will blow it out of all proportion if they have to, to justify a "fail".  Then again, they might not use it at all.  You just don't know, so why risk it.

It is little different than a police interrogation with a fancy machine used as a prop to intimidate you.  Oh yeah, another difference, no crime has been committed.  IOW, it's a witch hunt.

As you can see from Mr. Sackett's (a polygrapher) response they want you to get everything off your chest, no matter how minor, so they can use it against you, if necessary.  They are skilled interrogators.  They are very good at getting you to make embarrassing admissions.  Don't fall for it.

What you did IS NOT CHILD PORN!  Sounds like normal high school behavior of a young man.  When I was in HS in the 60's, we'd go "beaver huntin".  The only reason our "shots" weren't recorded for posterity is that we didn't have cell phones or the internet back then.  But to a polygrapher, with a "reaction" on the machine to account for, it will warrant further exploration and discussion.

Now, if you were a middle-aged TEACHER, taking photos of young students and posting them on the web.  That WOULD BE child porn.

Stick to reality!  Don't get sucked into the topsy-turvy fantasy world of polygraphy.

TC

  

"There is no direct and unequivocal connection between lying and these physiological states of arousal...(referring to polygraph)."

Dr. Phil Zimbardo, Phd, Standford University
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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #7 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 6:31pm
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They estimate that, for every liar they actually detect, there will be a hundred or more innocent people who fail the test while being truthful.  That from the nation's top scientific researchers.


The NAS report didn't quite say that. Rather, in situations where there is a very low base rate of guilt (espionage, for example), there will be very many false positives for every true positive, even if polygraphy had an accuracy rate as high as 90% (which it doesn't).

  

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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #8 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 6:56pm
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GM,

When I tested at NSA, the four counter-intelligence questions did have a "low base rate of guilt".

Further, the polygraphers explained the questions thoroughly.  For example, with the disclosure of classified info question.  They explained they were talking about PURPOSELY removing classified info from a secure space with the INTENT of doing something untoward with it.  IOW, pulling a Sandy Burglar.

With regard to the "foreign contact" question.  They explained they were talking about KNOWINGLY maintaining a relationship with a KNOWN agent of a foreign government, with the intent of PASSING INFORMATION, or doing something otherwise unauthorized...etc.

Yet, they will then take something you say that doesn't come even close to that and blow it out of all proportion.

In my case, they made a big deal about some translation work I did for the Taiwan Coordination Counsel in Hawaii.  I met an officer there when applying to attend a seminar in Taiwan.  I was on active duty.  My command knew about it, even wanted to pay for it and label it foreign language training.

I had to go to that office about three times.  To apply, to get a visa, and to pick up a seminar packet prior to departing. 

Of course I practiced my chinese during the visits.  On the last visit, the officer suckered me into translating a 12 page fax just in from Taipei.  It was a new directive explaining the new law pertaining to foreigner (americans) wanting to work in Taiwan.  This officer needed it translated to have it available in english for people inquiring at his office about working in Taiwan.  Too cheap to send it to a translation company.

Now, does that come anywhere near what they explained the "foreign contact" question really means?  No?  THEY BLEW IT OUT OF ALL PROPORTION!

This is what I mean, when I say don't mention insignificant shit concerning a relevant question.  Don't speculate at all.  They explained the question quite clearly, I understood it.  Should have said No, I haven't DONE anything like THAT. End of story!  Anything short of that and you're just giving them ammo!

This is precisely how you end up with a false positive.

TC
  

"There is no direct and unequivocal connection between lying and these physiological states of arousal...(referring to polygraph)."

Dr. Phil Zimbardo, Phd, Standford University
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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #9 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 7:10pm
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Mr Cullen

Lethe argues just the opposite, that the more you know, the less gulible you are, the more likely to be false positive.  Can't your side agree on anything?
  

No good social purpose can be served by inventing ways of beating the lie detector or deceiving polygraphers.   David Thoreson Lykken
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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #10 - Apr 23rd, 2008 at 6:15pm
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Lethe argues just the opposite, that the more you know, the less gulible you are, the more likely to be false positive.  Can't your side agree on anything?


No he didn't.  Reread what he posted.

But despite what he wrote, people actually believe the machine can accurately detect deception.  They believe the lie that the machine is 95-98% accurate.  It's part of the "pop" culture.  It simply is not true.

If one goes into the test knowing that this is a myth, that can only be to their advantage.

Many people just tested come here and to the PGP board in total shock that they told the true, yet were told that the magic box indicated deception.  But that just shows how deeply they've fallen for the "myth".  So they fall for this "parlor trick".

The more logical answer is that the machine CAN NOT detect deception.  After all, they know they told the truth yet the polygrapher said they were lying.  It is amazing how they can get a gullible, naive person will suspend all critical judgement in the exam room.

They told the truth, were told they were lying, yet conclude the problem must be with THEM and not the machine/process.

So what do you do if the person tested doesn't fall for it.  It they continue to say:

"Look, I'm telling the truth, I don't care what your machine indicates.  In fact, just because it shows a reaction doesn't necessarily indicate deception."

and

"You mentioned that the test is 95% accurate.  I find that hard to believe.  What study do you base that on....."

TC
  

"There is no direct and unequivocal connection between lying and these physiological states of arousal...(referring to polygraph)."

Dr. Phil Zimbardo, Phd, Standford University
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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #11 - Apr 25th, 2008 at 12:42am
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So its best to explain this or just insist that I've not been involved at all?
  
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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #12 - Apr 25th, 2008 at 2:29am
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speed204 wrote on Apr 25th, 2008 at 12:42am:
So its best to explain this or just insist that I've not been involved at all?

It is best to explain it.

If you don't you will have to lie.  Lying in order to get a job that entails a large amount of trust is simply unethical.  You cannot start off behaving unethically and then hope to become ethical once you get the job.
  

Lorsque vous utilisez un argumentum ad hominem, tout le monde sait que vous êtes intellectuellement faillite.
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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #13 - Apr 25th, 2008 at 3:06am
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If you don't you will have to lie.  Lying in order to get a job that entails a large amount of trust is simply unethical.  You cannot start off behaving unethically and then hope to become ethical once you get the job.


That's true, it's just a shame applicants have to go through a process (polygraph) where they are systematically lied to.

It's quite ironic.

In speed's case, it's a roll of the dice.  If he ends up with a reasonable polygrapher thats sees that speed was really not involved in child porn, no problem.  But he may end up some arrogant jack ass that believes his own bullshit, they could use his admission against him.

  

"There is no direct and unequivocal connection between lying and these physiological states of arousal...(referring to polygraph)."

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Re: I've always wanted to be in law enforcement...
Reply #14 - Apr 25th, 2008 at 7:31am
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T.M. Cullen wrote on Apr 25th, 2008 at 3:06am:
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If you don't you will have to lie.  Lying in order to get a job that entails a large amount of trust is simply unethical.  You cannot start off behaving unethically and then hope to become ethical once you get the job.


That's true, it's just a shame applicants have to go through a process (polygraph) where they are systematically lied to.

It's quite ironic.

In speed's case, it's a roll of the dice.  If he ends up with a reasonable polygrapher thats sees that speed was really not involved in child porn, no problem.  But he may end up some arrogant jack ass that believes his own bullshit, they could use his admission against him.



Unfortunately, that is true.

But he would be best served by being truthful regardless of how the people with whom he interacts behave.  If they choose to lie and take guesses regarding his truthfulness it does not make it ethical or proper for him to lie in response.

If he tells the truth he may fail but he won't have anything that he did that he can or should second guess or regret.
  

Lorsque vous utilisez un argumentum ad hominem, tout le monde sait que vous êtes intellectuellement faillite.
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