Los Angeles, July 27, 2022—LeoTech’s Verus is featured in the July/August 2022 edition of Sheriff & Deputy, the bimonthly magazine of the National Sheriffs’ Association. James Sexton, LeoTech’s chief operating officer, and Verus clients spoke to Ian Murphy, senior editor, for his article, “Call Collect.”
“Speed is our game,” Mr. Sexton told Mr. Murphy.
Verus monitors more than 100,000 inmate calls originating in California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Texas, New York, and Louisiana. This adds up to more than 65 million calls per year and more than 340 years of continuous conversation.
Verus has supported multiple real-world investigations. “It’s really a force multiplier when it comes to monitoring phone conversations,” said Kevin Catalina, Suffolk County (New York) undersheriff.
Verus also plays a role in detainee safety. It sends keyword alerts for terms related to suicidal ideation, assaults, COVID-19, and other health and safety concerns, helping law enforcement to intervene before a crisis occurs.
“Working with classification officers, we are able to provide mental health needs to inmates who may not normally communicate medical needs to staff or our medical provider,” said Eric Palmberg, El Dorado County (California) Sheriff’s Office public information officer. “We are looking at mental health issues, inmates making threats of suicide, threats against staff or other inmates, and overall security of the facilities.”
Powered by artificial intelligence, Verus operates in a continuous surveillance environment and renders all authorized inmate communications searchable except for those to lawyers, doctors, and spiritual advisors. Inmate discussions of illicit activity usually include context. Occasionally, threats are associated with slang or code words, such as “mosquito” for drones.
“Inmates do not have a sophisticated cipher that sounds like an NFL playbook,” Mr. Sexton noted. “It’s impossible to have that kind of coordination due to the environment. They also just overtly say things; 95% of conversations are very clear—no innuendo and in context.”
Despite notification of call monitoring when a call is placed, inmates often do not believe that jails effectively monitor their calls.
LeoTech provides Verus training and technical support. “It’s very user-friendly,” said Undersheriff Catalina. “One of the best parts of the service is that initially, they send a tech to your facility to not only show you how to use it, but actually work in the jail with the individuals who are using it,” he added. “They work side by side with you, and that makes it much easier to learn and understand.”
LeoTech delivers state-of-the-art hardware, software, and subject matter expertise to law enforcement organizations (LEOs) at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as to correctional facilities, the intelligence community, and the private sector. Many employees are current and former law enforcement officers.
Contact LeoTech at
[email protected] | 310.526.3890