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									         Law Enforcement Agency Applicant Polygraph Testing Policy
                          MCJA Board Policy #1
I.     OBJECTIVE

       The purpose of this policy is to establish minimum standards regarding polygraph
       examinations conducted on candidates seeking entry into the Basic Law Enforcement
       Training Program (BLETP).

II.    POLICY

       It is the policy of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy
       that all applicants for entry into the BLETP complete a polygraph examination as
       described herein and that all polygraph examiners conduct such exams in a fair and
       impartial manner.

       The MCJA BOT recognizes that many law enforcement agencies utilize the polygraph as
       part of their hiring processes, and it is only after a department makes a final job offer that
       it presents its candidate for admission to the BLETP. The MCJA BOT further recognizes
       that an additional polygraph examination on the same candidate would likely be
       unnecessarily burdensome to an agency and candidate. Therefore, any candidate who has
       undergone a polygraph examination which meets or exceeds the standards expressed
       herein shall be deemed to have met the MCJA’s polygraph entrance examination
       requirement.

       While a necessary requirement of the BLETP application process, completion of the
       polygraph requirement does not guarantee acceptance into the BLETP.

III.   DEFINITIONS

       A. (Applicant) Screening Test: A polygraph test in which the relevant questions cover
          two or more areas that are partially or completely independent from one another.

       B. Deception Indicated (DI): A decision of deception indicated means that the
          physiological data were stable and interpretable and that the evaluation criteria used
          by the examiner concluded that the examinee was not being truthful to the relevant
          issue in a single-issue test.

       C. Disqualifying Conduct: Conduct that would constitute Murder, any Class A, Class B
          or Class C crime committed as an adult.

       D. Disqualifying Conviction: Any conviction of Murder, any Class A, Class B, Class C,
          or within the last 10 years, any Class D crime or any violation (including Class E) of
          the Maine Criminal Code, chapter 15, 19, 25 or 45 if committed as an adult.

       E. Inconclusive (INC): Inconclusive means that after analyzing all chart data, the
          examiner cannot render a conclusive opinion as to truth or deception.



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  Law Enforcement Agency Applicant Polygraph Testing Policy
                   MCJA Board Policy #1
F. Multi-facet Test: A multi-facet test is a test in which the relevant questions cover the
   same issue (e.g., drugs) though the questions may cover different aspects that issue,
   (e.g., sale, use, possession, etc).

G. No Deception Indicated (NDI): A decision of no deception indicated means that the
   physiological data were stable and interpretable and that the evaluation criteria used
   by the examiner concluded that the examinee was being truthful to the relevant issue
   in a single-issue test.

H. No Opinion (NO): A decision of no opinion means a polygraph exam was initiated
   but could not be completed for circumstances beyond the control of the examiner or
   examinee. Such a conclusion is normally due to a temporary physiological problem
   (such as a cold, minor injury, excessive fatigue), instrument failure, or the inability of
   the examiner to establish a rapport with the examinee.

I. No Significant Responses (NSR): A decision of no significant responses means that
   the physiological data were stable and interpretable and that the evaluation criteria
   used by the examiner concluded that the examinee was being truthful to the relevant
   issue(s) in any given test. In single-issue tests, NSR corresponds with NDI.

J. Polygraph: A polygraph means a lie detector, polygraph, deceptograph, psychological
   stress evaluator or other device, mechanism or instrument, regardless of what it is
   called, which is operated or the results are used or interpreted by a polygraph
   examiner for the purpose of detecting deception or verifying truth of statements. (32
   M.R.S.A. § 7153-sub 4)

K. Polygraph Examiner: A polygraph examiner means any person who purports to be
   able to detect deception or verify truth of statements through the use of polygraph. (32
   M.R.S.A. § 7153-sub 6)

L. Polygraph Examination: Polygraph examination means any test administered by a
   polygraph examiner using a polygraph. (32 M.R.S.A. § 7153-sub 5).

M. Polygraph Test: A polygraph test means either 1) a single running of a list of test
   questions during which the examinee’s physiological data are being recorded, the
   product of which is a single polygraph chart, or 2) the running of the same list of
   questions (the order of which may change from chart to chart) multiple times as
   required in the protocol of the technique employed.

N. Purposeful Non-Cooperation (PNC): A decision of purposeful non-cooperation
   means that the polygraph examiner detected the examinee was engaged in apparently
   motivated and repeated behavior that was in conflict with the examiner’s instructions
   and resulted in interference with the testing protocol or the physiological recordings.




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        Law Enforcement Agency Applicant Polygraph Testing Policy
                         MCJA Board Policy #1
      O. Single Issue Test: A polygraph test in which the relevant questions cover the same
         issue. To be a single-issue test, the applicant must be able to answer all the relevant
         questions either all truthfully or all deceptively.

      P. Significant Responses (SR): A decision of significant responses means that the
         physiological data were stable and interpretable and that the evaluation criteria used
         by the examiner could not conclude that the examinee was being completely truthful
         to the relevant issue(s) in any given test. In single-issue tests, SR corresponds with
         DI.

      Q. Terminated Examination: A polygraph examination was begun but stopped by the
         polygraph examiner and/or the examinee for reasons documented in the report filed
         by the polygraph examiner.

IV.   PROCEDURES - General

      A. Any polygraph examiner engaged in the practice of MCJA applicant polygraph
         examinations must be approved by the Academy Director to conduct such exams.
         Polygraph examiners must hold a Maine polygraph examiner’s license and agree to
         abide by the standards in this policy and shall complete the MCJA authorization to
         conduct law enforcement agency application form (See Appendix 1) and be approved
         by the Director who shall maintain and publish a list of all approved examiners.
         Examiners will remain on the list of approved examiners so long as they continue to
         abide by the standards herein along with any future modifications or requirements as
         may be implemented by the MCJA Board of Trustees.

      B. Polygraph examiners shall employ validated testing techniques for which they have
         been formally trained and may not materially deviate from those techniques without
         adequate justification, which must be articulated in the examiner’s final report.

      C. Polygraph examiners will comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws.

      D. Polygraph examiners shall not conduct a polygraph examination on an applicant until
         a thorough background investigation has been conducted (to the satisfaction of the
         examiner and/or the agency Chief Executive Officer) and documented. The examiner
         shall review all relevant background materials prior to conducting a polygraph
         examination of any applicant.

      E. No initial polygraph exam shall be conducted with any examinee until the examinee
         has thoroughly completed the “Integrity Questionnaire,” (at a minimum) or its
         equivalent, and that questionnaire has been provided to the polygraph examiner for
         review prior to testing.

      F. Polygraph examiners shall utilize the polygraph examination as a means to verify an
         applicant’s background information, uncover any requested but undisclosed


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        Law Enforcement Agency Applicant Polygraph Testing Policy
                         MCJA Board Policy #1
         background information, and uncover any behaviors or conduct in the applicant’s past
         that would be grounds for disqualification for entry into the BLETP.

      G. Polygraph examiners shall maintain objectivity and shall not display any type of bias,
         preconceptions or prejudgment of any applicant (unless and until test data suggests
         otherwise). Throughout all examinations, examiners shall maintain professional
         attitudes and treat all examinees with dignity and respect.

      H. Polygraph examiners shall not schedule or conduct more than two (2) polygraph
         exams in any one day. It is recommended that examiners do not conduct more than
         one (1) examination in any one day.

      I. In those situations in which a law enforcement agency’s polygraph examination is
         also intended to satisfy the MCJA’s polygraph examination entrance requirement, the
         examiner shall include a notice in his final report that the decision to hire an applicant
         should not be based solely on the results (i.e., the examiner’s opinion) of a polygraph
         examination.

      J. The polygraph examiner shall review the Statement of Consent with the polygraph
         examinee and obtain the examinee’s signed consent prior to conducting the polygraph
         exam. (See Appendix 2).

V.    Environment

      A. All examinations should be conducted in an environment that is free from distractions
         that would interfere with the applicant’s ability to appropriately focus on the issues
         addressed.
             .
VI.   Equipment

      A. Examiners shall use a polygraph that is properly functioning, maintained and
         calibrated.

      B. Polygraphs are required to record, at a minimum, the following channels or
         components:

             1. Respiration patterns recorded by pneumograph components. Thoracic and
                abdominal patterns are required to be recorded separately, using two
                pneumograph components
             2. Electrodermal activity reflecting relative changes in the conductance or
                resistance of current by the epidermal tissue.
             3. Cardiograph to record relative changes in pulse rate, pulse amplitude, and
                relative blood volume.




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         Law Enforcement Agency Applicant Polygraph Testing Policy
                          MCJA Board Policy #1
       C. Other physiological data may also be recorded during testing, but may not be used to
          formulate decisions of truthfulness or deception unless validated in replicated and
          published research.

       D. It is recommended the instrument be equipped with a motion sensor.

VII.   Recording

       A. Polygraph examiners shall audio-visually record each MCJA applicant polygraph
          exam in its entirety. All such recordings shall be maintained along with all charts,
          question sheets, reports and other documentation associated with the administration of
          all MCJA applicant polygraph exams for a period of not fewer than four (4) years
          from the date of the examination.

VII.   Pre-test Interview

       A. The examination shall start with a pre-test interview, which shall include, at a
          minimum, the following requirements:

              1. The examinee shall be informed that the polygraph examination is voluntary
                 and may be terminated upon request. The examiner shall always obtain
                 documented consent from the applicant prior to testing.
              2. The examinee shall be informed that although voluntary, the polygraph
                 examination is an essential part of the BLETP application process and that
                 failure to complete the exam would be grounds for refusal of entry into the
                 BLETP.
              3. The examiner shall make a determination of the applicant’s suitability for
                 testing. If the applicant is not suitable for testing, the process will be
                 postponed until the issue is appropriately resolved.
              4. The examiner shall provide an explanation of how the polygraph works.
              5. The examiner shall discuss and review, at a minimum, the questions contained
                 in the MCJA approved “Standardized Pre-employment Polygraph
                 Examination for Law Enforcement Agency Applicants” manual.
              6. The examiner shall review all test questions with the examinee.
              7. The examiner shall explain that all test results will be based on polygraph data
                 and that a thorough analysis will not be conducted until all data have been
                 collected.

IX.    Test Question Construction

       A. All test questions should be worded in a manner consistent with the type of test
          format being employed.

       B. The relevant questions shall cover, at a minimum, any undisclosed illegal activity.



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        Law Enforcement Agency Applicant Polygraph Testing Policy
                         MCJA Board Policy #1
X.    In-Test Phase

      A. All physiological data must be continuously collected and permanently recorded
         during each test chart.

      B. An acquaintance test shall be conducted.

      C. Examiners shall ask all questions with clarity and distinctiveness.

      D. Question pacing shall be appropriate for the technique employed.

      E. Examiners shall collect all charts necessary so as to acquire sufficient data for proper
         evaluation, in conformance with the technique employed.

      F. To maximize accuracy, examiners should, when appropriate, use more narrowly
         focused testing to resolve significant responses during a multi-issue technique, a
         process commonly referred to as a “successive hurdles” approach of polygraph
         testing.

      G. No more than five different relevant questions shall be asked in any one test.

XI.   Use of a Successive Hurdles / Narrowing Focus Approach

      A. Multi-issue screening tests are tests for utility, designed as a screening method and
         not a diagnostic single-issue test. To maximize accuracy and utility, a more narrowly
         focused test should be conducted when necessary to resolve significant responses
         (SR) appearing during a multi-issue technique.

             1. Opinions that an examinee has been deceptive (DI) should result only from the
                analysis of a single-issue test (or an admission of deception).
             2. Should a follow-up single-issue or multi-facet test result in a finding of NSR
                or NDI, then the original multi-issue technique (resulting in the original SR
                finding) should be run again, minus the issue resulting in the original SR
                opinion.
                     i. If that test results in a finding of NSR, then testing is complete;
                    ii. If it results in a finding of SR, then testing should continue until all
                        issues are adequately resolved or all testing options are exhausted.

      B. Whereas a goal of polygraph testing is to verify full disclosure of all information
         requested, all reasonable attempts to test until an opinion of NSR or NDI shall be
         made unless testing is ordered terminated by the appropriate authority.

      C. Follow-up testing shall be scheduled for a different day or with a different examiner
         when an examiner believes it is best to do so.



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         Law Enforcement Agency Applicant Polygraph Testing Policy
                          MCJA Board Policy #1
       D. If, after a finding of SR on a test, the examinee admits any new (i.e., previously
          undisclosed) information – and the hiring authority or the Academy Director (in the
          case of tuition or self-sponsored students) requests testing to continue – then the test
          issues must be tested again, after consultation with the hiring authority or Director, in
          order to confirm the examinee has not withheld additional information.

              1. It is understood that the Academy Director may, at his option, based on the
                 new admissions, disqualify the candidate (i.e., a tuition or self-sponsored
                 student candidate) and render further testing unnecessary. Also, see section
                 XIV (B) for testing conducted prior to an agency offering the examination as
                 satisfying the MCJA’s entrance requirements as hiring authorities may do the
                 same.
                       i. For the MCJA’s entrance purposes, such tests are considered non-
                          complete. (See section XIV (A).

XII.   Data Evaluation

       A. The examiner shall evaluate all tests using the appropriate method for the specific
          testing method being employed, looking for any timely, consistent, significant
          physiological responses to any relevant questions.

       B. If there are timely, consistent, significant physiological responses to any of the
          relevant questions, the examiner will report a conclusion consistent with those
          findings, i.e., SR or DI.

       C. If no such timely, consistent, significant physiological responses occur on any of the
          relevant questions, the examiner will report a conclusion consistent with those
          findings, i.e., NSR or NDI.

       D. If sufficient criteria do no exist to render a conclusive opinion, or if the data are too
          unstable for proper analysis, the examiner shall report the test as INC explaining the
          reason(s) for the decision in the final report.

XIII. Post-Test Interview

       A. If there are timely, consistent, significant physiological responses to any of the test
          questions (relevant or non-relevant), the applicant shall be given an opportunity to
          explain why he responded to those questions followed by a thorough interview, as
          appropriate.

       B. If, during any post-test interview, the examinee makes any admissions or confessions
          that he lied to any of the relevant questions, the examinee shall be reported as
          deceptive to the testing process.




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        Law Enforcement Agency Applicant Polygraph Testing Policy
                         MCJA Board Policy #1
      C. Examiners shall be careful not to over stimulate an examinee to any issues, if
         possible, in the event further testing is necessary. If the post-test interview, in the
         examiner’s opinion, has rendered the examinee unfit for further testing, then such
         testing shall be re-scheduled for another day or with another examiner.

      D. The examiner shall advise the examinee of the final results of all polygraph tests if
         requested.

XIV. Non-complete Exams

      A. An examination is not complete until any and all issues resulting in a call of SR on a
         screening test have been resolved (i.e., tested until NSR or NDI) or tested in a single-
         issue test.

      B. Whereas many agencies use polygraph as part of their hiring processes; and whereas
         many agencies have differing standards for acceptable prior conduct; it is understood
         some agencies may order testing to terminate prior to completion as described above.

XV.   Reporting

      A. Admissions or disclosures made by the examinee during the examination shall be
         documented in the examiner’s final report narrative.

      B. The examiner shall document and explain the tests conducted and report his or her
         conclusions for all tests.

      C. The examiner shall forward a copy of his or her final narrative report to the agency
         requesting the polygraph examination or, to the Academy Director in the case of
         tuition or self-sponsored students).

      D. The examiner shall file the MCJA Polygraph Report Form (PE-1) with the MCJA.
         (See Appendix 3).

             1. If the examinee admits to any disqualifying conduct or disqualifying
                convictions, then the examiner shall note admissions were made by checking
                the appropriate box(es) on the form.
             2. The examiner shall check the box indicating the exam was either complete or
                incomplete.
             3. The examiner shall check the box indicating the examination was or was not
                conducted in accordance with this policy.




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        Law Enforcement Agency Applicant Polygraph Testing Policy
                         MCJA Board Policy #1
      E. Any approved examiner who has conducted a polygraph examination on a BLETP
         candidate or potential candidate shall release a copy of his final report to any other
         (Maine) law enforcement agency, to the Academy Director (in the case of tuition or
         self-sponsored students), or polygraph examiner requesting the report, providing the
         candidate gave written consent authorizing the release of the report.

XVI. Quality Assurance and Continuing Education

      A. Examiners shall participate in some form of quality assurance review of a portion of
         exams conducted on applicants or potential applicants of the BLETP provided that
         permission to do so has been granted by the applicants or potential applicants, and
         examiners shall request such permission from every candidate or potential candidate.

      B. Examiners shall receive a minimum of 24 hours of polygraph training every two
         years.

XVII. Miscellaneous

      A. Any deviations from this policy must be approved, in writing, by the Academy
         Director, who will have consulted the BOT Chair, and will be made on a case-by-case
         basis.

      B. An applicant for the BLETP shall complete the polygraph examination required
         herein at any time during the 12 months prior to his or her acceptance into the BLETP
         or extension period granted by the BOT, per 25 M.R.S.A. § 2804-C, sub 1.

      C. No polygraph exam shall occur within 30 days of the most recent, complete exam.


Motion by: Mr. Jim Ferland
Seconded by: Deputy Chief Berry
Adopted: 10/03/2008



Presiding Officer: _______________________________
                      Brian MacMaster, Chairman
                      Board of Trustees
                      Maine Criminal Justice Academy




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