Green River Star -

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By Hannah Romero
Editor 

Lie to them

Council approves MOU for law enforcement agencies to pursue new lie detection technology

 

December 15, 2022



In an effort to find more efficient and cost-effective lie detection techniques, the Green River Police Department, Rock Springs Police Department, and Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office are working together to pursue a new technology called EyeDetect.

Captain Shaun Sturlaugson presented before the City Council at the Dec. 6 meeting, where the council unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the three law enforcement agencies to allow them to move forward with purchasing EyeDetect.

“We decided it’s easier for all of us to share the equipment and fiscally efficient to do that as well,” Captain Sturlaugson explained. “It’s much more cost effective than the polygraph.” 

All three law enforcement agencies have been using polygraph examinations for pre-employment and investigative purposes. The GRPD has used this technology for several decades.

“These examinations are beneficial in both areas but come with difficulties that can, at times, outweigh the benefits,” the agenda documentation for the city council meeting explained. 

Right now, all three agencies have one polygraph examiner from the Sheriff’s office who does all the polygraph tests. Because the GRPD doesn’t have its own trained polygraph examiner, the officers rely on the examiner from the Sheriff’s office to conduct their tests. 

Training a new polygraph examiner would be time consuming, requiring several months of training up front, and would be expensive, costing about $30,000 to train on new equipment. Additionally, polygraph tests themselves can cost up to approximately $400 per test at an average of ten tests per year. 

“Both situations create budgeting strains and logistical and scheduling issues that can be detrimental to the goals the department is trying to achieve,” the agenda documentation said.

EyeDetect is a new technology recently developed by the company Converus which tracks eye movement during questioning to provide feedback on truthfulness, the GRPD explained in the agenda documents. This technology is already being used by other agencies across the nation, and results are found to be consistent with those of polygraph machines.

The cost for both the equipment and training for EyeDetect is also significantly less than polygraph expenses. EyeDetect will cost approximately $2,472 up front and $1,068 per year after, providing 15 tests for the GRPD at a rate of $72 per test. 

Captain Sturlaugson also explained to the council members that anyone can be easily trained to use this new technology, and all of the agencies can use it together. 

“The agencies have agreed that EyeDetect is a viable solution, and wish to enter into an agreement to purchase the equipment and train collectively in order to share cost and assist each other in its use,” the documentation explained. 

With the council passing the MOU, the agencies will be able to move forward with purchasing and implementing EyeDetect.

 

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