chris-gootee-1Crime-fighting Heroes Stay Ahead of Lake County Criminals with Innovative Telmate Investigator Tools

SEPTEMBER 29, 2016 LAKE COUNTY, IN –  Today Telmate, a leader in inmate communications, recognizes Detective Sergeant Martin Chnupa and Sergeant Chris Gootee of the Lake County Sheriff’s and Hammond Police Departments as the company’s 2016 Telmate Heroes Award recipients for this fall. The Telmate Heroes Award recognizes exemplary performance in the field of corrections and law enforcement combined with the use of innovative technologies.

In their current roles, Chnupa and Gootee work with the most serious arrests that make their way to the Lake County Jail. They regularly rely on the cutting-edge technology of Telmate Investigator, a suite of advanced investigator tools attached to the Lake County Jail’s phone, video visit and messaging system to manage, strategize and attack crime. The skillful duo have been paired up for about two years on the Gang Response Investigative Team (GRIT), and between them have a total of 28 years of service.

“For me, it’s about basic tools we use every day,” said Chnupa. “You have to have a gun, badge, handcuffs, and Telmate’s part of that mix. If you use Telmate, you catch and prevent things before they happen; if you don’t, then you’re reacting to the criminals.” Partner Gootee agrees: “One of the greatest benefits of Telmate Investigator Tools is real-time crime fighting. In one case we worked on, while the criminals were making arrangements, we could hear it happen–we knew what they knew as soon as they knew it.”

According to Chnupa and Gootee, Telmate gives them the ability to retrieve information from the inmate’s first person point of view, which is why they spend so much of their time monitoring phone calls, messaging and video visits on the Telmate system. They also benefit from the Investigator Tree that automatically builds a network of users and actions associated with an inmate so they know exactly who the inmate is connected with on the outside.

With Telmate Investigator, it takes detectives minutes to look up an inmate, listen to their calls and know their friends and family, affiliates, enemies and co-conspirators. “Think about the hours cops used to spend on the street guessing where someone is or who they know. Now, you can look at the Investigator Tree and figure it out — it’s hours to minutes,” Chnupa added.

The detectives believe empowering their team of investigators with cutting-edge technology not only ensures their own success but also gives Lake County citizens a premium law enforcement service. In Chnupa’s words, “Doing our job is how we honor all the brave men and women who protect and serve our community and our country.”

Chnupa and Gootee are both dedicated family men who cherish time with their wives and children more than anything. After that, number two for Chnupa is watching LSU football (Geaux Tigers!) and for Gootee, it’s watching the Blackhawks and Cubs. (Go Cubs!!)

The Telmate vision is to create secure inmate communications technology that empower inmates to break the cycle of recidivism, while protecting and serving facilities and communities. And this is why Telmate is honored to award Chnupa and Goote, who deliver on this vision with their commitment to working tirelessly and efficiently to protect and serve their communities and help present strong cases that ensure just punishment.

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