LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — The Bay County Sheriff’s Office held a certification class for a technology called Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) on Thursday.
At first glance, CVSA scores look similar to the peaks and valleys one would see on a lie detector test, but they’re actually much different.
Unlike a traditional lie detector test, CVSA measures actual frequencies in a person’s voice rather than testing heart or breathing rates.
Chief Instructor for INTV Federal Services, Bill Envler, taught the 30 person class how to decipher CVSA scores over the past week.
“What happens is when the sympathetic nervous system kicks in the muscles in our voice box tighten up. They still vibrate, but they just don’t vibrate at the same rate that they do when we’re relaxed,” Envler. “So actually what it does, is it literally changes the frequency of our voice.”
Since the CVSA test uses different parameters than a polygraph test and less equipment, instructors said it may be a better way to tell if the person in question is disclosing the absolute truth.
The voice stress test has a plethora of uses within the law enforcement community.
“They’ve used it for homicide cases, sexual battery cases, grand theft cases etc. and we’ve been able to clear a lot of cases because of this particular tool,” said Inspector at the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Paul Vecker.
One person thankful for the versatile technology is Ellen Fletcher, who will receive her CVSA certification this week.
Fletcher works closely with probation and believes the field will benefit from another truth detecting tool.
“It’s an additional way for us to identify noncompliance, or to confirm compliance so that if we need to address anything a person under probation hasn’t disclosed to us, we’d find out about those untruths through the administration of the CVSA,” Fletcher said.
The Bay County Sheriffs Office will continue to sponsor the CVSA certification class every other year for the tri-state area so that departments throughout the Southeast can take advantage of the adaptable technology.