Bangor detective honored for polygraph work

Posted April 11, 2011, at 7:53 p.m.
Detective Tim Cotton, Bangor Police Dept.
Detective Tim Cotton, Bangor Police Dept.

BANGOR, Maine — Just about every week someone is given a lie detector test at the Bangor police station, and most of the time Detective Timothy Cotton is the one running the test, Sgt. Paul Edwards said Monday.

“He’s the best at it,” he said. “That is why we have him.”

Cotton recently was honored with the Region III Director’s Award issued by the American Association of Police Polygraphists, an independent agency.

“As the AAPP Region III Director, I am proud and honored to give the 2011 Regional Director’s Award to Detective Cotton,” Lt. James Wardwell of the New Britain (Conn.) Police Department said in his notification letter to Bangor police.

Polygraph machines measure a person’s pulse, blood pressure, breathing and perspiration to reveal deception.

The regional director’s award is given to officers who contribute to significant cases by use of the polygraph, Edwards said.

Cotton was chosen for “outstanding case work in which he utilized polygraph to assist in significant criminal investigations,” the sergeant said in a statement. “Detective Cotton has repeatedly demonstrated a high level of expertise and professionalism in the application of polygraph and continues to assist local law enforcement in many criminal investigations.”

Wardwell described Cotton as a skilled investigator who is good at conducting lie detector tests to help solve crimes.

“It is certain Detective Cotton will continue to assist in criminal investigations utilizing the level of excellence he has achieved in the use of polygraph,” he said.

Region III covers Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

The AAPP was formed in Texas in 1976 by William “Bill” Taylor, then commander of the Texas Department of Public Safety polygraph unit, and others in that state, the group’s website says.

“We became a fraternity of comrades among whom there was no contention but that noble desire of who could best serve,” the AAPP history states.

Cotton, who worked for Hampden Police Department before moving to Bangor, has worked in the Queen City since November 1997, Edwards said.

“He is our main polygrapher,” he said. “He is the best and that is why he got the award.”

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