Martha SparksSociety Editor
December 30, 2012
A former Logan County resident was honored during the 2012 AAPP (American Association of Police Polygraphists) seminar held this summer for work as a polygraphist with the Warner Robins, Ga., Police Department.
Sgt. Art Curnutte was the recipient of Richard O. Arthur Director’s Award for AAPP Region V. Region V in the AAPP includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia; the district of Washington, DC and the country of Europe.
Selected and presented by each Regional Director, the award is to be based upon a significant case or contribution within the respective region. Region V Director Frank Suddreth chose Curnutte for his outstanding investigative polygraphy that resulted in first clearing an innocent suspect.
“It’s not every day that a polygraph examiner’s work can be said to have potentially saved lives. During 2010 the community of Warner Robins had endured a series of apartment building fires that were deliberately set. A suspect was developed who had actually reported some of the fires, was observed at several of the fires and displayed a physical arousal evident to those on the scenes. It was initially thought that police and fire investigators had their man,” Suddreth explained in his award release. “This individual was given the opportunity to take a polygraph test to tie everything together for the case. Examiner Curnutte properly administered the test and much to the dismay of investigators the suspect they felt sure was responsible of setting the apartment fires passed the polygraph test.
“This outcome was met with comments questioning the accuracy of the polygraph results and disbelief that they did not have the person responsible for the arsons.
“Examiner Curnutte stood by his findings, as we all are taught in polygraph school to stick by your charts and what they tell you. After further investigation, another suspect was developed by investigators and he too was asked to submit to a polygraph examination.
“When the examination was completed Examiner Curnutte confronted the suspect with the fact he had not passed his polygraph test and the guy subsequently confessed to having started a number of the apartment fires and was arrested. Without a doubt, the great work of Sgt. Art Curnutte saved uncounted lives. I could not have found anyone more deserving of this award.”
Sgt. Curnutte is the son of John Curnutte of Monaville and Bertha Ann Curnutte of Logan.