Polygraph Statement of Derek20 August 2022
In June 2022, I submitted to a polygraph examination with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, conducted by Northland Investigations and the examiner Daniel Caputo. It is worth noting that the position I applied for was a non-sworn agency support role, which would have given me no access to classified information or authority over the general public. The experience I had with Northland Investigations, and the examiner Dan Caputo in particular, was the worst experience I have ever had with a law enforcement hiring process in my entire life, and one of the worst experiences of my life in general. The experience that I had with this individual can best be described as traumatizing, degrading, and emotionally abusive. From the moment I entered the exam room, he was extremely rude and possessed an attitude of "guilty until proven innocent." For example, one of the first things he said to me was "I can tell you're nervous," despite the fact that I told him that I had nothing to hide, and thus had nothing to fear. As we moved into the pre-test questionnaire, he proceeded to ask me a series of highly inappropriate questions, such as "Have you ever watched porn and the girl might have been underage?," if a stripper ever "touched your penis?," and the most inflammatory of which was "Have you ever fondled a girl while she was sleeping?" Furthermore, as several other individuals who have undergone polygraphs with this company have noted, he asked me the same set of questions over and over and over again, despite the fact that I continued to answer "no." As I continued to answer "no," he became increasingly agitated, and attempted to bully and pressure me into changing my answer, in spite of the fact that I was telling the truth.
In addition to his profound lack of professionalism and highly inappropriate behavior, he also displayed a stunning level of incompetence and/or malfeasance over the course of the exam. When explaining what should have been a very simple set of directions, he instead provided convoluted and overly complex instructions regarding how I should answer three different sets of questions that he was going to be asking me. In hindsight, I feel he did this purposefully to increase my level of confusion and decrease my chances of passing the exam. To expand on this point, when I first began the polygraph portion of the test, the examiner had me verbally answer either "yes" or "no" to the questions he was asking me. After the first set of questions, the examiner informed me that I was "talking with my gut," and instructed me to either shake my head up and down for yes, or to the side for no. Following these instructions, he chastised me several times for making "too large of a movement." In addition, the examiner very rudely told me to "stop trying to throw off the machine," even though I was employing no countermeasures and making no attempts at deception. Again, I feel that these instructions were not grounded in science or a search for the truth but were designed to increase my level of confusion and decrease my chances of passing the exam. To accentuate this point, I have spoken with two other individuals who have been submitted to polygraph exams by this company, both of whom say that they were instructed to do the same thing.
Finally, as we continued with the polygraph portion of the exam, the examiner continually asked me the same three questions, all of which I answered "no" to. As I continued to answer "no," he became increasingly angry and continuously tried to pressure me into admitting "yes" to one or more of the questions. When it became clear that I would not be changing my answer, the examiner very immaturely stated that "we were done here," unhooked me from the polygraph machine, and stormed out of the room like a petulant child. I sat there in shock for about a minute while I contemplated whether the lack of maturity, competence, and professionalism that I had just witnessed had actually happened or not.
Following the events of this day, I was informed a short while later that I was disqualified from the hiring process for the job that I had applied for. This was heartbreaking, as I knew that I was unfairly deprived of a job that I was highly qualified for. Compounding this pain was the knowledge that I was deprived of this position because a corrupt polygraph examiner projected his dishonesty onto myself. Even more disheartening is the fact that I am far from the only person who has been forced to endure this type of emotional abuse at the hands of Northland Investigations. A quick glance at Yelp as well as Google Reviews reveals that this type of inappropriate, unprofessional, and sadistic behavior is the norm, rather than the exception, at Northland Investigations. Furthermore, when I tried to raise my concerns to Caputo's superior, Jason Gibbs (the chief of the human resources department), he responded by dumbly stating "well this guy's done a thousand of these tests," and assuring me that filing a complaint wouldnt change the outcome of my application.
While it will be easy to interpret this letter as being written by someone who is bitter about being rejected for a job, it should be interpreted as being written by a concerned citizen who was disgusted at the pre-employment process employed by AZ DPS and Northland Investigations. Subjecting prospective candidates to this type of degrading and insulting experience will make it nearly impossible to attain quality candidates and foster the culture necessary to effectively enforce the law and protect the citizens of the state of Arizona. I would politely request that the Arizona Department of Public Safety reconsider their relationship with Northland Investigations, or at the very least increase the level of oversight and accountability involved with the hiring process. The Arizona Department of Public Safety claims that its core values consist of integrity, courtesy, and empathy, all of which are in stark contrast to my experience with Daniel Caputo and Jason Gibbs.
I would also like to reiterate the fact that I was not untruthful, deceptive, misleading, or non-forthcoming during my exam. I told the 100% truth and was denied employment because of malfeasance on the part of my examiner.
Reviews for Northland Investigations
"Dirty crooked company!
Will pressure you into answering yes on a polygraph if their machine even gives the slightest blip. Even if you know you are being 100% truthful and answering No, the operator will continually harass, pressure and intimidate you into answering the wrong way."
"This review is in regards to a pre-employment polygraph conducted by this company.
First, I would caution any potential employee to think long and hard before subjecting themselves to this kind of abuse. Do you wish to work for an employer that would do this to you? If so, why? What do you think they will do to you once you are employed? Do you think they will be nicer once you are on the payroll?
Second, I will note that the interviewer was less than professional and insistent upon the answer he wanted to hear. I was told alternately that I was not to "take deep breaths" as that would be "calming" and would suggest I was trying to cheat on the test AND that I was too reactive OR that I was deliberately trying to "change my physiology". (I want to note, I am not from the area where this company does business and have very mild asthma. Between the change in altitude and the cold I was fighting, not taking a deep breath was, in itself, distressing. As a chronic fidgeter, I can say that staying stock-still for hours is not going to produce good results from me, either.) The test became increasingly stressful just from the effort I was placing into not clearing my throat, coughing, or even breathing. The entire process was disgusting, degrading and highly insulting. The interviewer was obnoxiously demanding of personal details and unrelenting in demanding "yes" answers to questions that did not exist. It became apparent that the anxiety the experience was causing me was a) a clear indication that this job was not for me b) that the interviewer was a bit of what I like to call an "everyday sadist"--I recommend Googling that term to get a broader picture of what this suggests. Everyday sadism is the most apt description I can provide of the experience.
As this practice is pseudoscientific and ILLEGAL for private sector employers, I believe it should be abolished. To that end, I recommend that anyone who has been sent to this company ( or one like it) and put through this experience contact their local representative and demand an expansion of the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (which effectively BANS the use of the pseudoscientific polygraph in employment screening) to include public sector workers as well.
In total, this company wasted 3+ hours of my time, caused me emotional distress, and generally left me feeling harassed for no good reason at an already stressful time in my life. I am writing lengthy reviews wherever I can to help OTHER potential employees AVOID this experience and to get the word out that anyone who has been asked to do this CONTACT YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE. Employers can only abuse the employed to the extent we let them. We should demand change! The American Psychological Association has thoroughly discredited this "technology" from the 1920's.
As stated on the APA's own website:
"Recent formal documentation of this comes from a National Research Council (NRC) blue ribbon panel appointed a year ago to examine the scientific validity of the polygraph for national security. Many psychologists served on the panel, including Paul Ekman, PhD, a longtime researcher of deception detection (see main article). The panel's report to NRC found no evidence of polygraph validity."
NO EVIDENCE OF VALIDITY
My advice: If you are sent to this company, politely decline the offer and seek employment somewhere less soul-crushing. Your peace of mind is worth it. Your life is worth it. You are worth it. Do not let the everyday sadists of the world drag you down."
"I believe my polygraph examiner was being less than professional. He just couldn't take no for an answer when I was telling him the truth. I have never done an illegal drug in my life, and said so during the exam. My examiner just couldn't accept that, and I was denied employment because of it. He seemed to have this mindset that if he kept asking the same question over and over and over, that it would change somehow and eventually I'd give him the answer he wanted. There seemed to be no interest in the actual truth, just what he wanted to hear. Because of this experience, I will never again agree to be subject to a polygraph exam. I have experienced-first hand-that they are junk science."