Boone & Elkhart Sheriffs Revolutionize Corrections Safety with Utility Tech

In the realm of correctional facility management, embracing technological innovation is not just a strategic advantage—it’s a necessity for ensuring safety and streamlining operations. Utility, Inc. stands at the forefront of this transformation, offering solutions that not only enhance operational efficiency but also ensure the security of both staff and inmates. This case study explores how Boone County Sheriff’s Office and Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office have leveraged Utility’s cutting-edge body camera and incident management technology to meet contemporary challenges.

The Boone County Jail was built in 1992 with bedspace for 110 inmates and opened on October 30th with a population of 40. In the summer of 2007, the facility’s total bed space was expanded to accommodate 221 inmates with the addition of permanently affixed steel bunks. In 2020, there were 157 admissions into the Boone County Jail and 1640 releases. The average daily population was 137 inmates, with an average of 26 females and 111 males.

Under the proactive leadership of Sheriff Anthony (Tony) Harris, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office recognized the urgent need for advanced technological integration into its operations. Faced with a rapidly growing inmate population, the office sought innovative solutions that would not only manage the increase more efficiently but also enhance safety across the facility.

Boone County adopted Utility’s comprehensive suite of high-tech tools, including EOS by Utility™ body cameras with real-time streaming capabilities and the POLARIS by Utility™ incident management platform. Sheriff Harris emphasized the transformative impact of these technologies:

In 2016, Boone County adopted Utility’s comprehensive suite of high-tech tools, including EOS by Utility™ body cameras with real-time streaming capabilities and the POLARIS by Utility™ incident management platform. Sheriff Harris emphasized the transformative impact of these technologies:

“Utility’s officer-down feature has drastically changed how we respond to emergencies. It’s not just about deploying technology; it’s about actively saving lives and ensuring our response is swift when every second counts.”

 Sheriff Anthony (Tony) Harris

The introduction of Utility technology in Boone County has led to several significant improvements.

    • Rapid Emergency Response: The officer-down alert system has been pivotal in cutting down response times and providing swift assistance to officers in distress.
    • Enhanced Operational Efficiency: Leveraging the POLARIS platform, the Sheriff’s office has streamlined its data management processes, enabling quicker decision-making and more efficient incident handling.
    • Increased Accountability and Transparency: The deployment of individual body cameras ensures that all interactions within the facility are recorded, fostering a culture of transparency and reducing potential disputes.
EOS by Utility™ Officer-Down Safety Feature

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The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office team pictured at their agency in Indiana

Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office is a maximum-security Adult facility in Indiana. This 940-capacity facility has been operational since 1982. The detention center holds detainees from all over the County and is managed by the Indiana Department of Corrections and Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office.

In 2017, Elkhart County’s Sheriff Jeff Siegel identified the challenge of outdated equipment and disjointed data systems. A comprehensive technological overhaul was necessary to improve security measures and enhance operational control across the correctional facility.

Elkhart County rolled out Utility’s full suite of technologies, including individual body cameras for officers and integrated vehicle cameras, ensuring comprehensive monitoring and consistent data collection. Sheriff Siegel commented on the substantial benefits these tools have brought:

“With individual cameras and integrated systems from Utility, we’ve seen a significant uplift in accountability and operational control, enhancing both safety and efficiency across our facility.”

Sheriff Jeff Siegel

The adoption of Utility’s technology at Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office has resulted in several key advancements:

    • Increased Officer Accountability: By equipping each officer with a personal body camera, the sheriff’s office has increased staff responsibility and transparency, which is crucial for maintaining integrity within the facility.
    • Unified Data Management: The POLARIS platform has centralized information processing, enhancing strategic decision-making and operational oversight.
    • Quicker Incident Response: Real-time streaming capabilities allow for immediate action and better coordination during critical incidents, significantly improving the facility’s overall response strategy.

Both Boone and Elkhart Counties have witnessed transformative changes with the adoption of Utility’s technologies. These case studies highlight significant improvements in safety protocols, data management, and operational efficiency, demonstrating the vital role that integrated technological solutions play in modern correctional facility management.

Sheriff Harris emphasized the broader implications of these technologies:

“Having real-time data and responsive technology fundamentally changes the game—it means we’re always prepared, always responsive, and always a step ahead in managing any situation that arises.”

 Sheriff Anthony (Tony) Harris

Sheriff Siegel shared his forward-looking perspective:

“Utility’s technology isn’t just about managing the present; it’s about anticipating future challenges and being equipped to meet them head-on. It’s about setting a new standard for what a modern correctional facility should be.”

Sheriff Jeff Siegel

Utility, Inc.’s role in transforming the operations of Boone and Elkhart County Sheriff’s Offices showcases the profound impact that technology can have on the management of correctional facilities. By improving safety measures, streamlining operations, and enhancing transparency, Utility’s solutions not only meet current demands but also pave the way for future advancements.

As the landscape of correctional facility management continues to evolve, the integration of such technologies will remain crucial. Correctional facilities that adopt these advanced tools can expect not only to enhance their operational capabilities but also to lead the way in the development of safer, more efficient, and more responsive correctional environments. In an era where efficiency and security are paramount, Utility, Inc. continues to provide innovative solutions that redefine what it means to manage a correctional facility effectively.

About Utility

Utility, the innovative technology-enabled service provider recognized for creating groundbreaking digital systems for frontline professions, provides a universe of intuitive products for effectively capturing, managing, and releasing video evidence. Technologies include a variety of cameras, sensors, and devices, as well as situational awareness software solutions for law enforcement, first responders, campus security, transportation agencies, and utility providers.

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