ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Those of the 220 applicants shortlisted for the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda eventually becoming recruits this year will be part of the historic move aimed at enhancing the selection of candidates through polygraph testing.
This has been revealed by Minister of National Security Dr Errol Cort, who said the number will be further whittled down to 80. There were over 500 hopefuls.
It was back in 2010 that he expressed desire to make polygraphing the standard throughout the national security forces.
“I have already spoken to the RSS and we are putting things in place to make that a reality,” Dr Cort said specifically about the testing of police recruits.
He explained that the increased due diligence is aimed at ensuring those entering the force are of the highest integrity.
A polygraph (popularly referred to as a lie detector) measures and records several physiological indices such as blood pressure and respiration, while the subject is asked and answers a series of questions.
The belief is that deceptive answers will produce physiological responses that can be differentiated from those associated with non-deceptive answers.
Meantime, the minister of national security told OBSERVER Media that over 200-plus individuals were invited to sit the written examinations – general knowledge, English and math – for entry into the force.
“Thereafter there will be a series of other examinations to include a physical and other due diligence,” he added.
At present, only the top brass of the police force and those holding key positions such as the head of the Narcotics Division undergo lie detector testing.
It’s introduction at the recruit level comes as several officers await trial for various criminal offences including murder, sparking public calls for greater due diligence of applicants.