Police Use Polygraph to Weed Out Racists

Police Chief Shane Sullivan at the Coopertown City Hall on Feb. 13. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

The Coopertown Police Department in Tennessee is hiring—but racists need not apply. The tiny town’s new police chief, Shane Sullivan, is utilizing a lie detector to attempt to keep the department scandal-free, after a series of racists incidents—one of which included a notorious speed trap—left the people of Coopertown without any police. Experts warn that lie detectors might not necessarily be the most accurate predictor of racism, since many people don’t even recognize their own prejudices. But Sullivan is convinced that the method will work simply by keeping so-called bigots from even showing up. “I think the polygraph will definitely keep these people from applying,” he said. It’s definitely worth a shot.