Testing for Lies
Police officers say they are concerned that Police Chief Daniel Carbon has decided to force about 40 police officers to take lie detector tests. They say they will fight until he gives up the plan.
A police officer told The SUN newspaper that "40 police officers were selected to do the test by the police Chief and as far as we are aware, this is not part of the police regulations and it is unconstitutional."
The officer requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly on the issue. Last year, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said his government would introduce polygraph testing in 2013 as part of its crime fighting strategy.
Skerrit said the system will be implemented with assistance from foreign governments and will focus on police and intelligent officers who are placed in sensitive areas of national security.
Additionally, in July 2012 Carbon, who was then acting Police Chief said there was a need for proper vetting of police recruits and existing police officers and on that basis he was supporting calls for the introduction of lie detector tests for local police.
"Anything that will help the police force to be a better unit I welcome it," he said then. "I have seen certain documents and I believe that's the way to go. Every person getting enlistment into the force and those who are already here should be vetted properly."
Carbon said a vetting procedure is already in place but pointed out that because of "the sensitivity of the matter" he did not wish to divulge too much information. He, however, pointed out that the introduction of lie detector tests was a positive move for the force.
But that proposal has not gone down well with some members of the Police Force who are threatening to take legal action if that procedure is forced upon them.
"What they are trying to do is wrong and illegal and, trust me, we won't allow them to get away with it. They are also taking action if people fail and this is even worse," one very irate police officer stated.
A group of policemen has begun consulting with a local attorney to squash the proposal. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Police Welfare Association (PWA) Jefferson Drigo confirmed to The SUN that he heard about the proposed introduction of lie detector test from officers but has received no formal information on the matter.
"Just like you, I have heard about the matter but have not received any correspondence to that effect," he said. "No officer can be forced to take the test, it is not mandatory."
Experts describe lie detectors or polygraphs as instruments that monitor a person's physiological reactions. These instruments do not, as their name suggest, detect lies. They can only detect whether deceptive behaviour is being displayed.