The Professor James L. Chapman Award

~ Recognizing Excellence ~

nacvsa, nacvsa regions

Professor Emeritus James L. Chapman (1942 – 2012), a native of NY, served proudly in the United States Marine Corps from 1960 to 1966. “Semper Fi” or Always Faithful, the Marine Corp motto, describes Jim in all his relationships and commitments. He was a Police Officer at the Elmira, NY, Police Department for ten years. Thereafter, he went on to serve as the Director of the Criminal Justice Program and the Forensic Crime Laboratory at the State University of New York, Corning. He proudly served as the Executive Director of the Southern Tier Law Enforcement Academy-Zone 12 from 1984 – 2000. From 2007 – 2012, Jim was the Director of Training and Standards for the NACVSA.  First trained in voice stress analysis (VSA) in 1972, Jim was recognized as a world-renowned VSA expert and continued to conduct CVSA examinations up to the time of his passing. Jim was one of only four Master CVSA Examiners in the world, having earned that distinction after over four decades in the profession. He was considered the “elder statesman” of the VSA community worldwide and he is sorely missed by the thousands of VSA examiners he mentored and influenced over his many decades of service.

During his career, Jim conducted over 15,000 CVSA examinations and co-authored an 18-year peer reviewed, published study titled ‘Field Evaluation of Effectiveness of VSA Technology in a US Criminal Justice Setting’.  The study, co-authored with Research Analyst and Neuroscientist Marigo Stathis, found the accuracy rate of the technology to be greater than 98%. This study validated what over 2,000 US law enforcement agencies already knew – the CVSA is an excellent truth verification and decision support tool.

Jim Chapman passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in 2012 and to honor his legacy and contributions to the profession, the NACVSA created The Professor James L. Chapman Award for Excellence. 

Each year one person is selected from the thousands of individuals who are members of the NACVSA family – from examiners-to-researchers-to-authors, everyone is considered for this prestigious award.  The person judged by the NACVSA to have made the most significant contribution to the profession is selected to receive the award, which is presented during the CVSA Professional Development/Advanced Examiners Conference, held each year in Florida.

The following individuals are the recipients of the of the James L. Chapman Award for Excellence since its inception in 2012:

2012 – Marigo Stathis:  Marigo is a research analyst and neuroscientist and was the first recipient of the Professor James L. Chapman Award for Excellence.  She is a graduate of Vassar College and The Johns Hopkins University, where she received progressive degrees in biochemistry, cognitive science, and neuroscience.  As a Research Analyst, she designs and executes experiments relevant to brain science studies.  She is a co-inventor of a patented biomarker tool, research contributor and co-author to over 30 scientific peer reviewed and published scientific journal articles, and is the recipient of the Eisai Award (for Outstanding Scientific Achievement).  Along with the late Professor James L. Chapman, she co-authored the first peer reviewed and published CVSA field-research study, which highlighted the 98% accuracy rate of the CVSA as a decision support and credibility assessment tool.

2013 – Bob McCarty:  Bob, an investigative writer and journalist was awarded the second annual Professor James L. Chapman Award for Excellence for increasing the worldwide body of knowledge and awareness concerning Voice Stress Analysis.  Bob’s research into the Department of Defense and the DoD Polygraph Institute uncovered a high-tech turf war pitting those who want the best for our troops (the CVSA) against those who seemed to be focused on their own self-interests (the polygraph).  The memo signed by Under Secretary of Defense James Clapper, at the behest of the DoD Polygraph Institute, denied the war-fighters the ‘best-in-class’ CVSA, which had already been proven effective in combat and during interrogations of high-level detainees, and forced them to rely on the old outdated and less accurate polygraph.  Bob’s research resulted in the book “The Clapper Memo,” an expose of this turf battle.

2014 – Detective Chad J. Jeansonne:   Chad was honored with the third annual Professor James L. Chapman Award for excellence for his research and meticulous data collection efforts with the CVSA, which have helped further validate the efficacy of the CVSA as a truth verification and decision support tool.  Chad has served in law enforcement in the state of Louisiana for over 20 years.  He was certified as a CVSA examiner in 2008 and is one of only a handful of examiners who have been certified by the NACVSA as an “Expert CVSA Examiner.” He has conducted close to 1,000 CVSA examinations involving crimes ranging from robbery-to-homicide, and specializes in the investigation and examination of sex offenders.  Chad holds a B.A. from Louisiana State University, M.A. in psychology/criminology, and has conducted additional doctoral work in Clinical Forensic Psychology.  Chad is known among those in Louisiana law enforcement as being able to close a case with a confession through the proper use of the CVSA.

2015 – D/Sgt. Jerry W. Crotty II:  Jerry is with the Manatee Co. Sheriff’s Office (FL) and was the recipient of the fourth annual Professor James L. Chapman Award for Excellence.  He developed innovative strategies using the CVSA to protect the safety and welfare of children in Florida and elsewhere.  Jerry is assigned to the Federal Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), and he introduced the CVSA as a screening tool during investigations of ‘Traveler and Pornography Cases.’  His efforts have resulted in more accurately determining the past predatory histories of these offenders, and also has directly led to the identification and recovery of multiple ‘live victims’ of sexual predators.  As a direct result of Jerry’s innovation and creativity the CVSA has been acquired by many ICAC Task Forces across the USA, which have also adopted Jerry’s specialized interviewing approach.

2016 – Investigator Mike DeFrancisco:   Mike was honored with the fifth annual Professor James L. Chapman Award for Excellence. Mike is with the Columbus Division of Fire, Fire and Explosive Investigations Unit (OH), and has contributed immensely to the CVSA community by applying the technology to arson and explosive cases. Such cases have less than a 5% solve rate nationwide, but Mike has helped his unit exceed a 20% clearance rate for such investigations—four times greater than the national average. Mike has also dedicated his time to serving as a board member and the Director for Region 1 of the NACVSA since its inception, and is highly active in assisting other agencies with the CVSA.

2017Billy Cox: After more than 30 years of military, federal, and municipal law enforcement experience, Billy retired from the Chula Vista Police Department (California) in 2007.  Billy has conducted over 2,500 CVSA examinations, including both criminal and pre-employment examinations.  Billy is now an owner of Truth Services, LLC, which provides CVSA-related services throughout the state of California.  Billy has been a long-term supporter of the CVSA Community and has generously contributed thousands-of-hours to the NACVSA, to include writing guidance for CVSA Examiners, contributing his wise counsel to the profession, and training CVSA Examiners from across the USA.  Billy is one of the founders of the NACVSA, which he continues to serve and diligently support.

2018 – Clifford Payne:  The Seventh annual (2018) Professor James L. Chapman Award for Excellence was presented to retired Atlanta Police Department Expert CVSA Examiner Clifford Payne at the 2019 AEC.   Following a long career with the Atlanta P.D., Cliff retired from the department in 2015.  Cliff conducted thousands of CVSA examinations, including both criminal and pre-employment examinations.  He is now the owner of Atlanta Truth Verification Specialist LLC, which provides CVSA-related services throughout the Southeastern US. Cliff has been a long-time supporter of the CVSA Community and has generously contributed hundreds of hours to the NACVSA, to include teaching pre-employment techniques at the annual AEC, contributing his wise counsel to the profession, and conducting professional development briefings for law enforcement agencies across the USA.  Cliff is one of the founders of the NACVSA, which he continues to serve and diligently supports.  Our congratulations are offered to Cliff Payne for a job well done!

2019 – Harry Bennigson: Harry Bennigson has 35 years of law enforcement experience, serving primarily with the Vallejo Police Department. He spent nine years working criminal investigations including homicide investigations, sexual assault and other major crimes. Harry has been a CVSA examiner since 1995 and has conducted more than 1000 CVSA examinations. Harry was also a hostage/crisis negotiator, motor officer, FTO, corporal and sergeant. During his retirement, Harry worked six years with the UC Berkeley PD as a threat management detective. Harry initiated and organized the first CVSA and Crisis negotiator programs while at UCPD. During his last year at UCPD he solved a 22 year old cold case homicide involving a student on campus with the use of the CVSA. Harry currently conducts background CVSA’s for law enforcement and CVSA’s for private attorneys. Harry has testified as an expert witness in crime scene investigations/blood stain analysis and in interview/interrogation in CA Superior Court.