Vincentian cops trained in polygraph testing
December 19, 2014
Vincentian cops trained in polygraph testing

Members of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) were among 24 regional law enforcement officers who have been trained to administer polygraph tests.

While delivering the feature address during the closing ceremony of the inaugural Regional Security System{{more}} Basic Polygraph Training Course, at the Regional Police Training Centre, Seawell, Christ Church, Barbados on December 12, Director of Public Prosecution in Barbados Charles Leacock however cautioned that polygraph testing cannot be used as conclusive evidence of guilt or innocence of an individual.

Leacock said while the form of scientific testing should be viewed by the criminal justice system as an important tool, the rights of suspects must remain paramount.

He also explained that in order for the results to be used in the law courts, the lie detector test should be obtained voluntarily among other requirements.

“A suspect can only have a polygraph test if he agrees to one. If he agrees to have the test then the results may not be used to show by any means that it is conclusive of his guilt or of his innocence.

“An innocent man might well be a very nervous man or a guilty woman might well be much successful in passing a polygraph test as she might well be able to keep her blood pressure and skin connectivity to such an extent that she can pass the polygraph test easily.

“It is simply a tool of assessing his credibility. It must not be obtained by aggressive circumstances. It must not be obtained in breach of any rule that violates the suspect’s rights,” he said.

Twenty-four participants from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis and Barbados participated in the intense 10-week training programme facilitated by Chip Morgan and Lori Kosiarek from the Academy of Polygraph Science based in Florida.

In delivering remarks, Deputy Commissioner of Police Oral Williams said polygraph testing had a role to play in the proper administration of forces.

He said officers trained in the area have already used it to carry out pre-employment screening and as a result they obtained valuable information on applicants.

As he congratulated the successful participants, Williams told local officers that their new skills would be used for in house examination, in nearby jurisdictions and also indicated to them that local businesses were now requesting that the test be carried out on their employees.

Inspector Hawkins Nanton of the RSVGPF was among the graduates from St Vincent and the Grenadines. (Adapted from Barbados Today)