Sheriff wants computerized lie detector

Mad River Union

HUMBOLDT – Sheriff Mike Downey is asking the Board of Supervisors for $13,500 to purchase a computerized lie detector. The board will consider the matter when it meets Tuesday, May 5 at the Supervisors' Chambers, 825 Fifth St., Eureka.

Downey wants his department to have a Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA), described in a staff report as “an effective tool in all investigative situations such as homicide, sex crimes, robbery, white collar crimes, and internal affairs investigations, as well as pre-employment examinations for background investigators. The system has also proven itself a very reliable tool for verifying statements of witnesses, denials of suspects, and for determining the validity of allegations made against police officers.”

Downey’s staff report continues “The CVSA records, quantifies and analyzes frequency changes in the human voice. During the CVSA examination process, the instrument identifies vocal stress related to specific issues under investigation. It has been established that consequence-based stress can be detected in the human voice using the CVSA, which can be directly correlated to truth and deception. The CVSA has a remarkably low error rate (less than 1/2 %), has no inconclusive results, and far surpasses the validity and reliability of the old polygraph.”

“A state-of-the-art computer processes these voice frequencies and graphically displays a picture of the voice patterns,” the staff report states. “The CVSA® is not restricted to ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers and is able to analyze accurately, tape recordings of unstructured conversations.”

“Introduced into the law enforcement community in 1988, the original analog CVSA® became an instant success at every agency that purchased it, solving crimes that, in some cases, had languished for years (cold cases). In other cases, individuals that were either untestable or had been called ‘inconclusive’ on the old polygraph agreed to take a CVSA® exam and subsequently confessed to their crimes. With such results, it wasn’t long before word-of-mouth spread the CVSA®’s reputation like wild-fire in the law enforcement community. Today’s CVSA® has been digitized and incorporated into a powerful multi-functional notebook computer. The latest version of the CVSA® enjoys the reputation of being the most effective investigative tool to be introduced into the law enforcement community within within the past three decades,” the staff report states.

Purchase of the CVSA computer includes training for two users.


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  1. Zoltanwelvart said:

    The third eye. Siodmak. A book about chemically induced ESP.and how it would destroy our world of fraud.

  2. Zoltanwelvart said:

    Interesting,but justice is more important than opinions of scientists,cops,or lawyers.give us all sodium pentathol,ketamin,and a threatening soldiers stare.soon it will be to late.dont believe in church and state and everything they offer.

  3. Rob Walker said:

    I find it deplorable for the Sheriff’s office to request this highly questionable device.

    Don’t let our sheriff’s officers be held up as laughing stocks of investigators .. The scientific community is in no way in doubt about the efficacy of these devices.

    “Charlatanry, fraud, prejudice and superstition have always been with us. If we
    look back in history and compare with what we see today there is little that
    gives us hope that progress in science will diminish the amount of superstitious
    nonsense we see around us. Astrology, for example, seems to be more
    popular than ever and totally unaffected by how many times astronomers
    explain that it is complete nonsense. We are therefore somewhat pessimistic
    about the possibility of efficiently removing charlatanry from forensic speech
    science. But we hope that responsible authorities like the police and security
    services will listen to scientifically trained experts in the field rather than to
    smooth talking and wishful thinking from vendors of bogus lie detectors
    and similar gadgets. That is probably where we should invest our efforts. We
    must also take great care when we present our results so that the issue does
    not appear as a scientific controversy, which it is not. No qualified speech
    scientist believes in this nonsense so there is absolutely no controversy there,
    and it is very important that this becomes clear. We have included sufficient
    detail in this paper to provide the reader with useful arguments in the struggle
    against charlatanry. We hope that the effort will not turn out to be totally
    without effect.” (page 191)

    “It should be stated right away that at the present time no method for reliable
    lie detection is known and it is not even known if it should be possible to
    develop such methods in the future.”

    In the same paper ” producers and vendors of the first type, the
    voice stress analyzers, claim that their products are based on a neurophysiological
    theory of microtremor and sometimes cite scientific papers to boost
    the credibility of their products. We will show that those claims are completely
    unfounded by consulting a wide range of papers on microtremor and in particular
    the papers the vendors themselves often make reference to.” (page 172)

  4. Zoltanwelvart said:

    Meth based funding,cops,rehab.pull the financial rug out from under them!

  5. Zoltanwelvart said:

    Editors won’t let me remove that,that I did not put there.Ja,Ja!Ja.

  6. Zoltanwelvart said:

    Me and ice about human trafficking ,prostitution for their comrades ,war heros,so many learning to profit from 500 oz ice

  7. Zoltanwelvart said:

    Voice stress analysis,by any method or procedure,is now not illegal.can be used by anyone,on phone,or gambling,is now about recording without permission over telephone.recordings can be checked too.but legally,secretely?

  8. Zoltanwelvart said:

    Me first about ice and trafficking of prostitutes for soldiers etc.war Heros.human traffickers.taking a percent of profit from off loading a 100″ narcosub

  9. Zoltanwelvart said:

    They use that on TV on politicos in mejico.and on poli and fire up to 70% .i want it used on me and a comrade concerning a beating by apd and epd for a sancioned beating!and unnecessary chokings.

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