The Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA) lobby is making yet another try to get the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WACJTC) to approve the use of voice stress technology in the selection of law enforcement personnel. The Northwest Polygraph Examiners Association (NPEA) has been in the foreground of the struggle to prevent the CVSA from gaining a foot hold in the Washington State Law Enforcement personnel selection process.
The upcoming vote on December 12, 2012 is an important one. The commission will be asked to approve a change in the WAC to include CVSA as a valid device for conducting pre-employment testing. As professional polygraph examiners our opposition to the CVSA is not “professional jealousy” as the CVSA lobby insists, but on these simple facts:
• CVSA has not been proven to be accurate: Through countless studies the accuracy of the CVSA has been established to be no better than a flip of a coin. We have included copies of independent studies to verify this assertion. “Dr.” Humble, of the National Institute of Truth Verification (NITV), the inventor and marketer of the current CVSA instruments, admitted as much in civil court, under oath, that “the CVSA is not capable of lie detection.”
• CVSA compromises the integrity of Peace Officer screening: Current research shows the CVSA to be 37% to 50% accurate, which means that 50% to 63% of the potentially unqualified peace officers being screened by this assessment could slip through, compromising the integrity of the law enforcement system and causing a safety issue for the citizens of the State of Washington.
One independent study by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) on the utility of the CVSA reported that two of the most popular VSA programs, Computer Voice Stress Analyzer® (CVSA®) and Layered Voice Analysis TM (LVA) in use by police departments across the country are no better than flipping a coin when it comes to detecting deception while questioning more than 300 arrestees about their recent drug use. The results of the VSA output—which ostensibly indicated whether the arrestees were lying or telling the truth—were then compared to their urine drug test results. Fifteen percent who said they had not used drugs—but who, according to their urine tests, had—were correctly identified by the VSA programs as being deceptive.
The Northwest Polygraph Examiners association, as well as many current and retired police officers in Washington State, join with the International Association of Chiefs of Police whose general conclusion has been that the accuracy of the CVSA is modest to poor to uniformly poor. The IACP suggested that at some time in the future an as yet untried analytical approach might yield a valid lie-detector but, none of the current voice analysis technologies are valid for detecting deception.
The NPEA urges every police officer to sign this petition to demonstrate their support for preventing the CVSA from becoming part of the law enforcement screening process.