DATE: Tuesday, February 23, 2016
SUBJECT: VCSO Detective to Receive Recognition for Performance
CONTACT: Lt. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff David Wedding

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 10:00 AM the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office will host a ceremony for Detective Sergeant Nathan Sugarman. The Sheriff’s Office inmate communications provider, Telmate, has selected Sgt. Sugarman to receive it’s Hero Award in recognition of his mastery of Telmate technology.

Sgt. Sugarman has been able solve significant crimes in just three months of using Telmate Investigator Tools at our facility.  The Sheriff’s Office recently deployed Telmate’s complete SmartJail inmate communications solution featuring an all-digital phone, video visitation and wireless tablet platform. Sgt. Sugarman, a 17-year law enforcement veteran, makes it his daily routine to review data collected from a variety of sources in the system looking for clues, tips and any new evidence linked to crimes that the Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

“In order to bring a case to successful conclusion we want to have prosecution and ultimately conviction,” explained Sugarman. “We work to close all the gaps in any investigation to make the best air-tight case we can provide to the prosecutor to make their job easier.” He added that even though they’ve only had the system for less than three months, he and his fellow detectives have already had a couple of cases where by leveraging the data analytics in the Telmate system, they have gathered solid intel that can be used as admissible evidence in court.

In a recent incident, a case went to trial and the defendant was found guilty of child neglect causing death to her one-month old son. During the trial, Sgt. Sugarman used Telmate Investigator to support the prosecution in making the case along with other valuable evidence gathered through traditional methods. “To my knowledge,” Sugarman said, “this was the first time we used Telmate in a trial in Vanderburgh County and it worked very well for us.”

Sgt. Sugarman admits it’s a double-edged sword working on cases like these and that many can be both emotionally draining and gratifying. While it’s good to know he can get a conviction, he says it can’t bring a baby or any other life back. But with nearly twenty investigators and facility staff (as well as the Indiana State Police and Evansville Police Department) using Telmate technology installed at the Vanderburgh County Jail, Sgt. Sugarman said they have a better chance than ever of doing the right things for the right reasons and helping people along the way.

He admits that the difference between “old-school boots on the ground” investigative work and “new-school investigator tools” is that it makes cases that much better. According to Sgt. Sugarman, the dirty work they all do is conducting interviews, talking to witnesses and collecting evidence. But nothing seals a case more than the actual perpetrator telling someone else that he/she committed the crime. His unit relies on a complimentary combination of the two worlds: “We’re like a kid in the candy shop with Telmate, and it serves our needs pretty well.”

Telmate continuously receives nominations in recognition of heroes just like Sgt. Sugarman, who use the company’s technology, day in and day out. Telmate recognizes these investigators by selecting and honoring them for their dedication and leadership.

Pictured above: Detective Sergeant Nathan Sugarman