POLICE Magazine

JAN 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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44 POLICE JANUARY 2019 1. TWO TEST TECHNIQUES Criminal and administrative law en- forcement polygraph exams primarily involve two test techniques and for- mats: validity examinations and util- ity examinations. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Investiga- tors can derive the most benefit from a polygraph examination if they fully un- derstand the differences. 2. VALIDITY EXAMINATIONS Validity examinations are examina- tions in which the written and stated purpose agreed to by the parties in- volved is to provide a diagnostic opin- ion as evidence in a pending judicial proceeding. e strengths of these ex- ams are high validity and reliability, and their primary weakness is that col- lateral issues are not addressed. Here's an example. Antonio Langel- la is in custody for the murder of Man- uel Panza. Panza was found dead in his home. e coroner has determined cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head. Langella, 35, has been employed by his Uncle Nick for the past 20 years as an "independent contractor." He denies shooting Panza and has retained the services of attor- ney Michael Johnson who is asking for a polygraph interview. Relevant questions for this exam in- clude: "Did you shoot Manuel Panza?" "Did you fire the gun that put a bul- let into Panza?" "Concerning Panza's death, did you shoot him?" 3. UTILITY EXAMINATIONS Utility examinations are polygraph exams in which all relevant questions address two or more areas of the same frame of reference but are partially or completely independent from one an- "Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response."—Arthur M. Schlesinger S cience has contributed immensely to the solving of crimes and the processing of evidence. When a poly- graph is used as an investigative tool—whether it be for obtaining corroboration, eliminating or validating a person involved in a crime as a witness or suspect, or for conducting a background investigation—the accuracy of the results depends on the training and education and experience of the examin- er and the systems and the processes utilized to conduct the interview. For the law enforcement investigator, it is important that the use of the polygraph be viewed within the context of its overall value to the investigative process. Here are 10 things to con- sider when contemplating the use of a polygraph in a criminal investigation. THE POLYGRAPH CAN BE AN EXTREMELY VALUABLE TOOL FOR INVESTIGATORS IF IT'S USED PROPERLY BY A QUALIFIED EXAMINER. 10 Things to Know About Polygraph Exams Michael B. Lynch and J.C. De Ladurantey PHOTO: VOLLMER INSTITUTE

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