Anyone interested in wearing a police badge in Oregon could soon be asked to sit through a lie-detector test and face questions like have you used drugs?, have you stolen from an employer? have you committed a felony?, and did you answer honestly about why you left your last job?, The Oregonian reports. Oregon police chiefs want to change state law and allow law enforcement agencies to administer polygraph tests to help screen out bad apples during hiring.
Oregon has long forbidden the practice, while the states that border it — Washington, California and Idaho — allow it in police hiring. Washington, in fact, now mandates that all law enforcement agencies use the test for hiring. Under the Oregon proposal, failing the polygraph test could not be the sole basis for refusing or denying employment. Said Don Pierce of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs: “When people are sitting facing the polygraph they tell the truth, so we save a lot of time in terms of discovering behaviors that are disqualifying.” The American Civil Liberties Union contends the polygraph is a faulty test.