Vanderburgh County Hero Leverages Technology to Solves Crime, Keeps Community Safe and Bring Justice to Victims

FEBRUARY 17, 2015 EVANSVILLE, IN –  Telmate’s Hero Award recipient, Detective Sergeant Nathan Sugarman of Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, has mastered the art of using Telmate technology so quickly, he has been able solve significant crimes in just three months of using Telmate Investigator Tools at the facility. In doing so he routinely helps keep his community safe, protects the innocent and helps bring justice to victims of crime in the community he serves.

Vanderburgh recently deployed Telmate’s complete SmartJail inmate communications solution featuring an all-digital phone, video visitation and wireless tablet platform. Surgarman, a 17-year law enforcement veteran, makes it his daily ritual to review data collected from a variety of sources in the system looking for clues, tips and any new evidence linked to crimes that he and the team are tasked with solving.

“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 3 months, his team has 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, Detective 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.”

The detective 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 thirty investigators and facility staff using Telmate technology at Vanderburgh County Jail, Detective 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 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.”

Vanderburgh is a state of the art facility that leverages the entire Telmate SmartJail platform. This platform supports Sugarman’s proven investigative approach along with modern technology, which has allowed Detective Sugarman to stay focused on his mission, while efficiently detecting criminal activities; ideally before they happen.

 The Telmate vision is to create secure technology that empowers inmates to break the cycle of recidivism, while protecting and serving our facilities and their communities. And this is why Telmate is honored to begin 2016 by awarding our most recent Hero Award to Detective Sergeant Sugarman, who delivers on the Telmate vision with his commitment to working productively and tirelessly to protect and serve his community and help bring justice to victims of crime.

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

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


About Telmate: Telmate is the fastest growing provider of inmate phones and video visitation, secure messaging, mobile applications, inmate tablets and investigator tools. Telmate’s cutting-edge platforms are deployed in over 300 correctional facilities in North America spanning nearly all U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Telmate is headquartered in San Francisco, California. To find out more about Telmate, visit