Owner: Stephen Coates, M.A.
Phone: (828) 430-4647
Office: 216 N. Sterling St., Morganton, NC 28655
About the polygraph
The polygraph (or “lie detector test”) was invented in 1921 by John Larson – a medical student and police officer in Berkeley California at the time. Since that time the polygraph has seen many refinements and improvements and continues to be used regularly in the law enforcement field. Computer polygraph testing is common with computer data analysis being used as an adjunct to examiner scoring.
Why polygraphs are important
Polygraph exams are routinely used for pre-employment testing in law enforcement and are becoming more widely used with convicted sexual offenders. Sex offender testing (also known as post-conviction sex offender testing or PCSOT) is employed as a three-prong approach in conjunction with the person’s probation department and sex offender specific treatment program.
Another primary area for use of the polygraph exam is with employee theft. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (September 18, 2012) employee theft is a $50,000,000,000 annual loss for businesses. They report that the most common form of business theft is in customer transactions or from the company account, although theft of office supplies and time card fraud are also major issues. Other common uses of the polygraph include testing for infidelity, as well as allegations (i.e., physical abuse, sexual abuse, theft) where the person has not yet been criminally charged. In the latter case attorneys may refer clients for a private polygraph examination before allowing them to submit to an examination with law enforcement.
Stephen Coates has been conducting polygraph examinations since 2000. He began working as an examiner with Amich & Jenks, Inc. in Wheat Ridge, Colorado in July 2000 and opened Coates’ Polygraphs in Morganton, NC in 2002. Mr. Coates has provided polygraph examinations for defense attorneys, businesses, social services departments, fire departments, and law enforcement agencies. He has also conducted private examinations for individuals to address issues such as infidelity, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and theft. He has provided polygraph examinations for numerous probation departments and therapeutic treatment facilities with convicted sexual offenders.
Mr. Coates has a Mater’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and began working as a psychologist in North Carolina in 1993. He is licensed as a polygraph examiner in North Carolina and South Carolina.
If you have questions about a certain type of polygraph examination, or have an issue that you are not sure can be addressed with a polygraph, please complete and submit the form to the right of this page and someone will contact you regarding that issue within 24 hours. If you would prefer to be contacted by telephone and not email please indicate that on the form and let us know when a good time would be to call.