In 2016, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office identified a need to explore a body worn camera program to effectively achieve its mission of maintaining a safe community, which includes more than 65,000 citizens served across 12 townships. At the time, the deputies were utilizing in-car cameras, but their in-car capabilities were limited by a cumbersome uploading and retention process. Boone County Sheriff Michael Nielsen was relentless in his search for a dynamic partner that would offer the full spectrum of capabilities:
“Before deploying Utility’s evidence management system, our officers were operating without a full body camera in place and with outdated in-car capabilities,” said Boone County Sheriff Michael Nielsen. “As we explored our options, it became clear that Utility provided everything we were looking for and more with their integrated network, GPS capabilities and cloud storage offerings.”
Soon after learning about Utility’s capabilities, the agency outfitted its 44 sworn Merit Deputies with Utility’s BodyWorn cameras and RocketIoT. Because the deputies were not accustomed to body worn cameras, having only used in-car systems prior, a smooth transition didn’t seem likely, but Sheriff Nielsen says deputies warmed up to the cameras quickly once they saw how supportive they were.
“After just a few months of using Utility BodyWorn and RocketIoT, all deputies were on board with the new technology and impressed by how well the cameras helped defending and proving their actions,” said Sheriff Nielsen.
The partnership with Utility BodyWorn prompted the discovery of a need for updated policy to accompany the new hardware and software. The policies in place at the time had not been updated since 2006, and therefore did not reflect changes in the agency’s operations and the community’s needs and expectations. Sheriff Nielsen found Lexipol’s Law Enforcement Policies and Training solution to be user-friendly and efficient, and implemented the program shortly thereafter.
“We implemented Utility and Lexipol around the same time and the two have worked hand in hand,” said Sheriff Nielsen. “Lexipol’s Daily Training Bulletins have been instrumental to our success. Coupled with the expertise of the Lexipol and Utility teams, the transition has been beyond smooth.”
Thanks to the ongoing success in the enforcement division, the courthouse and corrections divisions in Boone have also upgraded to Utility BodyWorn with policy support from Lexipol – a welcome transition from the antiquated recording systems they’d been relying on up to this point. The systems have worked in tandem to ease the process for providing footage to the Prosecutor’s office, ultimately solidifying numerous cases. Plus, they have reduced the burden on the corrections division by cutting down on the need for tasks like testifying in court and transporting inmates to and from the courthouse.
“The upgrade has allowed for increased protection at every level – not only for the deputies, but also for the inmates, courthouse staff and visitors, and anyone else who encounters officers in each of the divisions,” said Sheriff Nielsen. “The switch to Utility with Lexipol’s support has been a game changer in so many ways, and we’re looking forward to growing and improving these programs to continue to offer our community the highest level of safety and security.”
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