Polygraph testing of Regular and Special Reserve Police Officers in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) would commence next week. This testing forms part of transformational policing for greater accountability within the Police Service.
This polygraph testing will be conducted across all Divisions of the TTPS and is not limited to officers assigned to stations along the South Western Peninsula. As a matter of fact, the Commissioner notes that the vast majority of officers assigned to the South Western Division have been doing their jobs commendably. However, a few officers because of their involvement with criminal activity, are permitting the entry of illegal drugs, guns and human trafficking from the mainland, are making it difficult for the vast majority of hardworking police officers in that Division to be successful.
For the period January 1st to December 31st, 2018 the South Western Division recorded the fourth lowest number of Serious Reported Crimes among all policing Divisions, with the highest overall detection rate. While for the period January 1st to June 30th, 2019, the South Western Division recorded the fourth lowest number of serious reported crimes, with the second highest overall detection rate.
Polygraph testing is not an avenue to target guilt but is used by many law enforcement agencies worldwide as a barometer to assist in ensuring there are no breaches in sensitive areas.
Commissioner Griffith says every police officer was willing to be polygraphed and drug tested prior to entry into the Police Service, so he sees no reason for an officer to be reluctant, unless the officer’s ethics have changed; if in fact, this is so, Commissioner Griffith says he does not want them in the Police Service. The CoP has directed that he will be the first to be polygraphed and drug tested.
In March 2019, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith announced both polygraph and drug testing for police officers as a proactive approach aimed at minimizing the possibility of police officers being involved in the use of illegal drugs, which can hamper their performance and also ensure that officers do not commit actions which will cause them to be involved in any type of criminal activity.