In 2003, the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department instituted a Polygraph Unit by enrolling two members at the Pennsylvania State Police/Harrisburg Area Community College Polygraph Institute at the Northeast Counter Drug Training Institute.
Members of the Polygraph Unit complete an intensive twelve-week course of instruction, followed by a mandatory internship before becoming fully certified. Members of the Polygraph Unit administer polygraph examinations to persons involved in criminal investigations. In addition, polygraph examinations are administered as part of pre-employment background investigations for police officers and civilian police staff applicants.
Polygraph examinations are used to verify the truthfulness of information or to determine knowledge of a crime. The use of a polygraph examination in a criminal investigation dramatically reduces investigative time and cost. The detection of deceptive techniques eliminates truthful persons from suspicion and quickly identifies deceptive persons.
The Polygraph Unit maintains a fully equipped examination room and office at police headquarters. The Polygraph Unit also provides its services to other police agencies throughout the Hudson Valley.