EXCLUSIVE: Polygraph testing issue affecting recruitment process at DC police academy

D.C. has been dealing with a spike in violent crime in the city along with a police staffing shortage. Now, FOX 5 has learned about a big problem that has stopped recruits from entering the police academy.

We spoke with the Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office and the police department and they both said the recruitment process is still underway, but the polygraph exams have been an issue.

The company the District used to conduct lie detector exams went out of business back in May. We are told the company, E-merging Technologies Group, gave the District one day notice before shutting down.

The police department said that the issue did affect one recruitment class in July. Some of the recruits could not move through because they didn't get a chance to take the exam.

We learned Friday afternoon that the city has found a new company.

Police said a class is usually made up of 20 to 30 recruits. They pointed out there isn't a backlog, but the police union said it is hearing the number of recruits waiting is much higher than what the police are saying.

“What I’m hearing from recruiting at the academy is that we have candidates in various stages of the process,” said D.C. Police Union chairman Delroy Burton. “Right now, approximately 100 candidates that are waiting for polygraph examinations can’t be processed because the vendor that provides polygraph services for the MPD, there are some problems with that vendor.”

No recruit has been given a polygraph exam since the company went under in May, but with the new company, there is no word when exams can resume.

The mayor's office sent us a statement saying, "We are doing everything in our power to ensure all of MPD's recruitment needs are being met."

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