Pre-employment polygraph examinations are conducted for all sworn and civilian positions, as well and some volunteer positions within the Police Department. Information contained within the Police Department General Order for Recruitment and Selection, Section 21.011 (The Polygraph Examination) states, "Upon completion of the background investigation the Personnel Management Unit will coordinate the scheduling of applicants for polygraph examinations. The polygraph will be utilized to verify the information received on the background questionnaire and information learned during the background investigation." The Arizona Administrative Code, Title 13, Chapter 4 (Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board), Section 106 (Background Investigation Requirements) requires a polygraph examination be administered. A Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies standard (31.5.4) on the topic of polygraph examinations or other instruments for the detection of deception used in the selection process indicates that the sensitive nature of these tests make it necessary to rely upon examiners who possess professional training and certification in the use and interpretation of these investigative tools.
Polygraph examinations are used to verify the truth of the background packet information provided by applicants, and determine if examinees are outside of City selection/policy guidelines. Pre-employment examinations include pre-test interviews, examinations, and post-test interviews (if and when needed). City formatted/approved questions are used and industry standard interview techniques are followed to attempt to conclusively resolve any "deception indicated responses." The City requires polygraph examiners:
- Have a current Arizona polygraph examiner license and/or have graduated from an accredited American Polygraph Association (APA) school;
- Be current members in good standing with professional polygraph associations;
- Have a minimum one (1) year experience in conducting pre-employment and/or specific issue polygraph examinations;
- Adhere to the established code of ethics, standards, and practices of the APA;
- Conduct all polygraph examinations in a manner that is consistent with accepted standards of practice in the clinical polygraph community; and
- Perform examinations in accordance with industry/law enforcement agency standards and in accordance with any and/or all City specifications, security policies/procedures and directions.
In the past, quotes were solicited from prospective vendors for pre-employment polygraph exam services. A variety of other companies have been used over the years if they best met the needs and/or were most advantageous to the Police Department.