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Sheriff's Office

Posted on: November 9, 2023

Sheriff’s Investigator earns polygraphist certification after completing rigorous training process

Inv Paddock

According to Sheriff Jeffrey J. Murphy, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office has added a polygraph instrument to their investigative tool set. 

Investigator Kate Paddock was accepted into the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center Polygraph Program held at the Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard base located in Annville, Pennsylvania. To be accepted into the program a sworn law enforcement officer must possess the required college credits, display their investigative experience, and articulate how the instrumentation will be beneficial to their agency. The program is highly competitive and appealing to law enforcement agencies as it is free of charge. 

Investigator Paddock along with eighteen other law enforcement officers from all over the country successfully completed the rigorous 440-hour, twelve-week course. The program provided current state-of-the-art training by practicing professionals and researchers in the forensic psychophysiological detection of deception field.  

The agency polygraph instrument was purchased with seized funds from a drug investigation. The instrumentation fits in a backpack and can be utilized in the field.  

As one of the few polygraphists in the Capital Region, Investigator Paddock has already implemented the instrument in criminal cases within the department and for surrounding agencies. The instrument will also be used during pre-screening employment exams, which aids in determining if an applicant is suitable for the position sought.  

Scientific evidence has supported the validity of polygraph exams, although the results are not typically admissible in criminal cases. However, the interview throughout the exam can be admissible. Polygraph testing procedures have evolved exponentially from their initial introduction into law enforcement. Demonstration of the proper techniques and test data analysis can result in a 96% reliability rate. The polygraph exam has served as an invaluable investigative tool, especially in cases lacking physical evidence.  

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