From Cop to Crusader: The story of my fight against the dangerous myth of “lie detection”

By Doug Williams; Reviewed by Brian L. Royster

***** From Cop to Crusader: The story of my fight against the dangerous myth of “lie detection.” By Doug Williams., 180 pages, e-book; $9.99.

For many years, we have been led to believe, by the law enforcement community and daytime reality shows, that the polygraph test is a very reliable “investigatory tool” to measure someone’s honesty. Author Doug Williams dispels some of those misconceptions in his book From Cop to Crusader.

Written as a quasi-memoir, this book describes a former Oklahoma City Police Department, Internal Affairs police officer’s crusade to expose, as he refers to it, “a powerful and corrupt” industry. The book will capture the reader’s attention, in part because of the notoriety the author received over the years from numerous appearances on television talk shows and before the U.S. Congress. In spite of the fact that the book is replete with obvious grammatical mistakes, they don’t detract from the compelling trials and tribulations described in the story.

The author’s main reason for his revelations is not to teach individuals how to beat the test; rather it is to have the polygraph test machine entirely discredited. He is a staunch advocate for the victims of the polygraph, especially job applicants who cannot refuse to submit to the test without serious repercussions.

Although this book isn’t a typical text for the security professional or budding criminal justice student, it provides a valuable resource for anyone curious about the polygraph test and its validity or lack thereof. This book would best serve law enforcement agencies that use the polygraph as an instrument to exclude potential applicants. It might convince them to find other means to gauge someone’s veracity.

Reviewer: Brian L. Royster is an assistant professor at Saint Peter’s University and a retired New Jersey State Trooper. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association Command Institute for Law Enforcement Executives. He is a member of ASIS International.



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