Allegations that three of his officers used their badges to steal from drug dealers prompted IMPD Chief Michael Spears to announce plans Tuesday to conduct random polygraph tests on all narcotics investigators.
"We want to maintain the highest integrity within these specialized units," Spears said.
Polygraph tests for officers in narcotics and other specialized units, such as vice, were eliminated two years ago with the formation of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Spears said. He said they had been standard practice under the former Indianapolis Police Department.
"A check and balance is important, and we're going to move forward with that," Spears said.
Polygraph examination results are not admissible in courts because of their unreliability. Yes, they might help weed out some bad police officers. The real issue which needs to be addressed, however, is the environment within IMPD which permits a police officer to stray so far from his or mission in the first instance. It starts at the top. If people within the department don't have confidence in or respect for the people managing the department, it's going to be reflected within the ranks. I should hasten to add that these latest problems within IMPD began under the leadership of Mayor Bart Peterson and Sheriff Frank Anderson.