Ada County Hero Keeps Community Safe by Continually Leveraging Technology

SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 -BOISE, ID – Telmate’s Hero of the Month, Sergeant Gary Grunewald, is an always-innovating tech pioneer at the Ada County Jail, where he regularly makes sure the facility not only gets value and benefit out of technology, but uses it effectively for the safety of his community.

Never let it be said that technologically savvy Grunewald, who is currently Ada’s Jail Security Projects Coordinator, doesn’t have plans and visions for the future. Always full of ideas, the Jail Security Projects Coordinator and 21-year corrections veteran is currently assigned to two major projects at the jail, which include overseeing a revamp of their JMS and security control system.

Sergeant Grunewald readily admits he’s the one to deal with the technological side of the jail that includes Telmate, more than anyone else, both because he’s devoted to the jail and he’s one of the facility staff that’s been there the longest. “I love the challenge of the people part of my job and I have a really good understanding of every type of position, so I know the whole overall function of the jail and all the parts we need to worry about.” He said his strong tech aptitude and proclivity for processes comes from being in the Navy for six years as a nuclear mechanic and instructor.

A Telmate customer for almost five years, Ada County has Telmate phones, kiosks and tablets. Grunewald is always looking for innovative ways for Ada County to use Telmate technology, such as taking inmate surveys, uploading handbooks and turning on inmate request forms on Telmate stations and Telmate Tablets. “The inmate request part greatly reduces the amount of manpower, from the request until someone can see it and deal with it. Now we just go to a computer and respond back to the inmate within a couple of hours instead of a couple of days,” he said.

They’ve also had positive success adding tablets, which have been deployed in Ada’s medium and minimum housing areas. Grunewald said usage has been growing steadily and seems to be a good tool for giving the inmates something positive to do. “I think it gives inmates a chance to mentally disengage and keep the stress down even though they are in dorms of 92 people.”

According to Grunewald, Telmate technology also helps Ada County Jail accomplish the Sheriff’s office mission, which is to keep constituents safe and create a good place to live. Telmate’s investigator tools help facilitate work with outside agencies where there are prosecutors and detectives gathering information on crimes to help them win convictions. “If we can take those people off the streets, we’ll make our communities safer.”

Every month, Telmate receives nominations in recognition of heroes just like Grunewald, who use the company’s technology, day in and day out. Telmate recognizes these heroes by selecting and honoring one Hero of the Month for their dedication and leadership.

For more information about the Heroes program or to nominate your own hero, please visit