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.