Senior cop wants lie detector test for all police

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Clayton Davis, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has suggested that all serving members and recruits should be polygraphed to rid the force of criminals.
Admitting there are criminal elements within the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda, ACP Davis said lawmen have been accused and convicted for various crimes.
He said that to restore public confidence, those who run afoul of the law must be pursued and held to the full extent of the law. Davis noted that polygraphing would help in changing the perception that lawmen are also involved in crime.
“We have tried to get a clean force, and recently, part of the application process is that you be polygraphed before you train. I would like to see the entire force is polygraphed. We haven’t reached that stage yet. That is in the making where persons who are in sensitive areas will be polygraphed. We do not have any means of looking at a person and knowing if they are criminals,” he said.
Police officers take an oath to serve and protect the public, but in recent times lawmen have been accused of crimes ranging from sexual assault to rape and armed robbery.
The CID boss said though members of the public believe lawmen are involved in crimes, no one has presented him with proof.
“I have yet to see anybody come to me, as head of CID, and say ‘that this person is doing this’ and to point me to whatever this person is doing. I’m not saying we have a clean force. There are persons who do funny things at times, but I can tell you [the] majority are decent,” he added.
Dr Peter St Jean, Dominican Criminologist, said regaining the trust of the public will also require conducting psychological evaluations on all members of the rank and file.
He noted that police officers come from within the community, but it is important to identify their social backgrounds that could influence their behaviours as adults.
“There are persons who are very conniving, honest, ambivalent by nature, and we have all these types of people in the police force. What proper police training will, to some degree, do is strip persons away from some of the maladjustment and to train them in such a way that they will be more upstanding,” he said.
Dr St Jean added that continued training and assessment will boost police morale and teach integrity, which is instrumental in the line of duty.

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