Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, says in the near future, all persons being recruited to serve in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be required to undergo a polygraph examination, commonly known as a lie detector test.
At present, all senior JCF officers, and those being assessed for sensitive assignments, must undergo a polygraph exam. However, Commissioner Ellington noted that soon, all recruits will be required to undergo the procedure.
He was speaking on Wednesday October 17, 2012 at a handing over ceremony at the Polygraph Unit, locatedon the grounds of the JCF’s training academy in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.
“Our dream is that eventually, perhaps very soon, we will be able to not just apply the polygraph exercise to senior ranking officers and those being looked at for sensitive assignments, but certainly to apply it to every member being recruited in the JCF,” he stated.
Mr. Ellington said this is in an effort to ensure that those who serve in the JCF are of the highest integrity and professionalism.
“I’m sure that those of my colleagues who have had the opportunity of going through the integrity screening process, including the polygraph, have come out of it feeling better about themselves, much better about the organisation, and much more confident that as an institution, we have the capacity, not just to help people build integrity, but also to help them in preserving their integrity,” he remarked.
A polygraph is a machine that collects and records physiological data, such as blood pressure, pulse, respiratory, sweat gland and cardiovascular activities, while the subject responds to a series of questions, to determine the truthfulness of the answers given.
The JCF and Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Polygraph Unit, which was established in 2007, forms part of the JCF’s Anti-Corruption Branch, which assumes the task of combating corruption within the JCF and its auxiliaries.
The Unit, today, received additional resources, including two brand new motor vehicles, office equipment and a polygraph machine, through the efforts of the Canadian Government.