Gormac Polygraph School, It's History and Legacy

Gormac Polygraph School held a distinctive position as one of only four polygraph schools in the US. Its counterparts included Backster School of Lie Detection in New York, Reid School of Polygraph in Chicago, and Army School in South Carolina.
By: Gormac Polygraph School
LOS ANGELES - Jan. 12, 2024 - PRLog -- Established in 1959 and closing its doors in 1989, Gormac Polygraph School stands as a distinguished institution, leaving an enduring legacy in the education of law enforcement professionals, private investigators, and individuals in related fields. Nestled in Arcadia, California, the school's impact stretched far beyond borders, drawing a diverse student body from various U.S. states and international locations such as Canada, Mexico, Guam, and beyond.

Commander G. Douglas Gourley, a respected figure in the Los Angeles Police Department, envisioned and spearheaded the establishment of Gormac Polygraph School. After retiring from the LAPD in 1957, Gourley assumed the role of a full professor and Dean of Fine and Applied Arts at California State University, Los Angeles. In the same year, he played a pivotal role in founding and leading the Police Science Department within the Fine and Applied Arts School at CSULA.

In its early days, Gormac Polygraph School held a distinctive position as one of only three polygraph schools in the United States, alongside counterparts in New York, Chicago, and South Carolina. Distinguishing itself as the exclusive institution in the western U.S., Gormac attracted acclaim by assembling a team of exceptional instructors with credentials from esteemed entities such as Army CID, CIA, the Los Angeles Police Department, UCLA, and other prestigious agencies and institutions.

Known for pioneering training methodologies, Gormac Polygraph School revolutionized education by incorporating actors to simulate mock crimes. This innovative approach provided students with invaluable practical experience, refining their ability to administer tests effectively. The institution's commitment to graduates was unwavering, with comprehensive reviews of their work and rigorous evaluations culminating in certification.

The profound impact of Gormac Polygraph School reverberated through the accomplished careers of hundreds of graduates. Many assumed pivotal roles in law enforcement at local, county, state, and federal levels, as well as within intelligence organizations. Alumni also found success in diverse government entities, private investigation services, higher education, and related fields.

Despite the school's closure in 1989 due to declining demand for polygraph examiners, influenced in part by the Federal Polygraph Protection Act of 1989, its lasting legacy endures. Gormac Polygraph School remains a beacon of excellence in polygraph education and training. Navigating an era of significant change, the institution left an indelible mark on the lie detection education landscape, as documented in the Arcadia Tribune on October 6, 1977, by Dave Brandt. Additional insights were provided by the Gourley family and former graduates.


Alan Saquella
Source:Gormac Polygraph School
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