Corrections Veteran Recognized as Hero of the Month
For forty years, Sheriff Larry Amerson has made a name in the community of Calhoun County both as a leader and a pioneer in technology that safeguards its 111,000 citizens.
Amerson began his professional career at the Coosa Valley Detention center during his last two years of college. Hired by the Sheriff’s Office in 1975, he began making his mark in improving security and control for the county.
In 1988, Deputy Amerson was hired as Administrator to implement Calhoun County’s Enhanced 9-1-1 system, making Calhoun the first county in Alabama to complete the conversion. A few years ago, Calhoun County became one of the first jails in the South to have remote video visits after partnering with inmate communications leader, Telmate.
“Communication with family is a very important aspect of their daily lives, the more we can facilitate that, the better we all are,” Amerson said. He reported that since the installation of video visitation systems, inmates have demonstrated a noticeable improvement in behavior.
In addition to connecting inmates to loved ones, the jail has also used Telmate technology to efficiently handle medical requests and inmate grievances. According to the Sheriff, the new system is much more efficient, acknowledges the inmate’s confidential information, and is “light years ahead” of what they had prior. “Inmates are comfortable that they are being heard and their comments are going to the right place,” added Amerson.
Although the Sheriff may have gained the title “Telmate Hero of the Month,” he believes its his staff that should receive the commendation. “It has been a great honor being recognized as a hero by my community and my peers, but the jail officers are the true heroes.” In Amerson’s opinion, they are the true, unsung heroes of law enforcement.