Behind The Badge

Behind The Badge: John Boyd, Sheriff (Ret.)

Prior to joining the Utility team, John Boyd began his career with the La Porte Police Department in Indiana as a police officer then later joined the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office as a patrol deputy before advancing through the ranks to the position of Sheriff.

John joined the Utility, Inc. team as a Law Enforcement Relations Manager in 2023. In his current role he applies his over 30 years of knowledge in the public safety sector and his experience utilizing our life-saving technology to help serve the agencies he once worked alongside!

John sat with Utility’s Blog Editor to answer a few questions about his story:

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself John.

Sheriff (Ret.) John Boyd pictured during his time working with the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana

A:  I was born and raised in La Porte County, Indiana which is located on the southern tip of Lake Michigan, approximately 60 miles east of Chicago. I graduated from Purdue University in 1988 with a degree in Criminal Justice and immediately entered the field of law enforcement. After graduation, I was hired by the La Porte Police Department and served as a patrolman for two years until I began working at the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office.

I served as a patrol deputy and was a founding member of the Emergency Response Team. For five years I served as a DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training) instructor and left my role in the schools when I was promoted to Sergeant. I served as a Patrol Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Captain, Chief of Detectives, and Major and was elected as Sheriff in 2014 and served as such from 2016 – 2022. Because of term limits, I could no longer serve as Sheriff and retired from law enforcement after 34 years. As Sheriff, I had been a very satisfied client of Utility and upon retirement from law enforcement and had an opportunity to work for the company, I enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity.

My wife Amy and I have been married for 27 years and we have two children, Megan and Nicholas. Megan recently graduated from Butler University with a degree in Health Care Administration and Nicholas recently transferred from Butler to Purdue University where he is studying Data Science.

Q: What inspired you to choose the path of working in
Law Enforcement?

John Boyd pictured in 1996 with a group of DARE students prior to a local 4th of July parade.

A: I was inspired to work in law enforcement when I was ten years old. My fourth-grade teacher’s husband was a Deputy with the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office and his frequent classroom visits, exciting stories and gentle and caring demeanor captivated my interest and since I was in elementary school, I wanted to someday become a police officer, work for the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office and someday become Sheriff of La Porte County. I worked diligently to accomplish my goals and in 2014, my final career goal came to fruition when I was elected Sheriff of La Porte County.

I am perhaps most proud of the number of DARE and GREAT students, in grades kindergarten through twelve, that I mentored and friended that have since entered the law enforcement profession.

Q: What were some highlights from working in Law Enforcement?

John Boyd pictured with Vice President Mike Pence when he made a visit to La Porte County to meet with a group of leaders from Northwest Indiana.

A: Several of the highlights of my career include traveling to the White House with a  delegation of law enforcement leaders from Northwest Indiana to meet with Vice President Pence to discuss drug-related issues facing our communities. I was also able to travel to our southwest border with a delegation of leaders to see firsthand the issues associated with migrants. I observed that the issues along the border are not merely immigration issues but crises that include humanitarian, health, drugs, human trafficking and environmental. I was able to see firsthand how many of our drug and human trafficking issues begin at our borders and affect all states.

Perhaps the most impactful highlights include the number of friendships that were forged throughout my career that came as a result of varying roles in law enforcement that enabled me to befriend so many wonderful people.

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Q: What has been your biggest “lesson learned” that you’d like to share with other Law Enforcement leaders?

A: The biggest lesson that I have learned in law enforcement has been that of empathy, respect and patience. Police officers are often called upon to make decisions that can impact others; some of which are life-long impacting decisions. Judging others using an empathetic lens can lead to increased patience and understanding as it is important to place yourself in the shoes of others and look at their situation from their perspective. I found that I became less judgemental and more empathetic the more tenured I became. As a result, I was much more effective at “picking my battles” and humanizing others. For example, as Sheriff charged with feeding nearly 400 inmates three times each day, I wanted to ensure that they were provided with nutritious, well-balanced meals that tasted good. While some in the public believe that detainees should be reduced to eating cheap, bland meals, I quickly learned that inmates who are provided nutritious meals that taste good are much more satisfied, less likely to act out toward others and staff and have significant healthcare issues reduced through diet. While serving as Sheriff I used the phrase: “I would much rather feed the prisoners, than fight them.” This mantra helped to boost the morale of our inmate population and staff.

Q: What does Transparency mean to you?

A: Transparency in law enforcement is about partnering and sharing information with the public thus providing visibility and accountability. Law enforcement should view the relationship that they have with the communities that they serve as symbiotic and the most effective way to do this is by sharing information, reporting to the public their operations, actions, successes, how their taxpayer dollars are spent and how their mistakes are being corrected. Law enforcement should notify the public what it is doing, how they do it and why they do what they do. Increased transparency from law enforcement generally equates to increased trust from the public.

Q: How have you seen Technology aid in Law Enforcement?

John Boyd pictured seated in the cockpit of a KC-135 Stratotanker at Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana when he was invited to participate in a refueling mission with the 72nd Air Refueling Squadron when the Air Force Reserve wanted to thank a group of employers for supporting his employees who are reservists at the base.  

A: Technology in law enforcement has increased dramatically and has transformed our profession. When I first started in law enforcement our patrol deputies used department-based manual typewriters with carbon paper and forms in duplicate or triplicate and reports were filed in rooms crowded with filing cabinets. Today’s technology allows the modern police officer to be more efficient and to work smarter while working harder. Suspects can be more easily and efficiently identified and tracked through the use of GPS, facial recognition systems, drones and data collection systems. Predictive software programs and can enable law enforcement to efficiently deploy resources and manpower in a proactive manner and therefore reduce or prevent crimes. Data can be collected and securely stored for evidentiary purposes and can be easily shared.

Technology is also delivering real-time, critical information to police officers and arming them with important information to aid them in their call response, safety and suspect/victim/witness information. Technology, such as video from private, commercial, in-car and/or body-worn camera systems aids in transparency as it provides an accurate depiction of the totality of circumstances. Digital evidence management systems help to securely store, categorize and share this vital information and evidence.

Q:  What advice would you give to an agency that is going through the process of selecting a Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS)?

A: Police agencies that are looking for an effective digital evidence management system (DEMS) should select a system that improves efficiency and workflow and that does not create more work for staff. The system should be Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) compliant and have a secure chain of custody and tracking that is policy-based. To aid in officers’ report accuracy, the system should allow immediate viewing capability. Smart redaction capability should also be sought in a DEMS system that allows agencies to quickly release critical footage while protecting the privacy of victims and witnesses.

The system should be able to manage all types of digital evidence, such as video and audio files, digital images, emails, text messages as well as have the ability to ingest digital evidence that is shared by the public, regardless of the media or the proprietary format. Effective digital evidence management systems should not create more work for agencies; rather, it must be a system that effectively and efficiently captures and manages digital evidence.

Never ask an officer to do what Technology can do for them!

Learn how Utility, Inc.’s advance Digital Evidence Management solutions take situational awareness to a whole new level for First Responders.

For questions and more information on Utility, Inc. email

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