Georgia Department of Corrections Chooses LeoTech to Combat Criminal Activity
LOS ANGELES, CA, April 7, 2021—The State of Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has selected LeoTech as its sole source for phone monitoring transcription services. The selection follows a successful trial for the GDC.
Facility security, crimes against persons, and gang activity topped the list of incidents captured by LeoTech during a trial of Verus software within the Georgia GDCin 2020. Within 30 days of activation, Verus processed 260,662 phone calls and flagged 33 incidents for investigation, including stimulus check fraud. Verus also flagged evidence that helped in the investigation of a white supremacist gang operating behind bars.
Since March 2020, Verus has monitored more than 7.5 million calls and delivered actionable evidence of criminal activity in 1,612 calls. The AWS natural language processing software embedded in Verus indicated the most frequent topics discussed among inmates and their outside sources that focused on weapons, contraband, cell phones, threats to inmates, gangs, homicides, assaults, and suicide.
“We built LeoTech to provide law enforcement with the best tools to counter criminal activity,” CEO Scott Kernan said. “Investigators leverage the information Verus collects and help prison systems shut down criminal activity that threatens inmates, staff, and surrounding communities.”
Built on the AWS platform, Verus is delivered as a cloud-based application, requiring no infrastructure changes for installation while also allowing for scalability to institution size or call volume. AWS Natural Language Processing (NLP) supports non-biased phone call analysis and transcription, enabling keyword-based searches and alerts. AWS Translation allows for immediate toggling between Spanish transcripts and English translations.
Verus is the only solution currently available on the market that offers continuous monitoring of phone calls and near real-time notifications on words that signal criminal intent. Its customizable law enforcement-oriented lexicon can be easily updated per location. In addition, Verus provides secured hosting of transcriptions through CJIS-compliant server hosting services.
Machine learning technology, together with investigative expertise, helps the system build out the keywords that Verus uses to identify crime, including slang and code words common among criminals, even on a hyper-local basis. “Our investigators have extensive knowledge of trends,” Kernan said. “Our technology leverages information faster and allows us to adapt to evolving scenarios and understanding of local slang. This in turn, results in better intelligence. This capability was a must-have for GDC, and we’re proud to support them.”
Contact LeoTech at
[email protected] | 310.526.3890
LeoTech Partners with Deliverfund to Fight Human Trafficking
LOS ANGELES, CA, February 4—LeoTech, a Los Angeles-based company providing technology to the corrections and law enforcement sector, has announced a partnership with the nonprofit DeliverFund to fight human trafficking.
Verus, developed by LeoTech, is a cloud-based software installed on top of phone systems within correctional and detention facilities. It automatically downloads, analyzes, and transcribes all recorded calls from inmates and detainees, proactively flags them for review, and provides immediate actionable intelligence in near real-time to investigators and correctional staff.
“The ability to search for keywords and set automated alerts gives Verus its power,” notes CEO Scott Kernan. “We’ve encountered criminals brazenly using jail phone systems to conduct sex trafficking crimes from behind bars. Keyword alerts have helped investigators uncover criminal conspiracies and take victims to safety.”
DeliverFund focuses on combatting human trafficking through technology and training, and through support services for victims. Founded by intelligence and military experts, DeliverFund has developed a proprietary human trafficking database and offers courses to law enforcement agencies. “The market for human trafficking is growing,” notes Michael Fullilove, Chief of Operations for DeliverFund. “It puts more than $975 million in the pockets of human traffickers every year. The epidemic is growing and it’s impacting neighborhoods around the country.”
LEO Technologies’ solutions are in use in metropolitan areas around the country and in states such as Alabama, California, and New York and have recently been adopted by the state Department of Corrections in Oklahoma. Verus has played a critical role in criminal investigations, such as the high-profile cases of Cupcake McKinney and Aniah Blanchard.
“Our missions overlap when it comes to the fight against human trafficking,” Kernan says. “We’re proud to support DeliverFund and their work to end this terrible trade.”
LeoTech is a leading-edge provider of technology for the corrections and law enforcement sectors. The company, a partner of Amazon Web Services, has recently been named to the AWS Public Safety and Disaster Response Competency.
To schedule an interview with Mr. Scott Kernan, contact LeoTech at [email protected] or 310.526.3890
LeoTech Named to AWS Public Safety and Disaster Response Competency
LOS ANGELES, CA, December 4—LeoTech is one of only 16 companies worldwide to be added to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Public Safety and Disaster Response (PSDR) Competency in the re:Invent Launch. As part of the AWS PSDR Competency, LEO Technologies will be featured in Amazon’s Technology Partner Section.
AWS extended this invitation to specialized AWS Partners in the public safety sector globally based on their proven success in helping customers leverage AWS cloud technology to prepare for, respond to, and recover from public safety emergencies. The AWS Competency kicks off the new AWS Competency Programs which identify, validate, and promote top AWS Partner Network (APN) Partners who demonstrate technical proficiency and customer success in specialized solution areas.
To receive the AWS Competency designation, AWS Partners go through rigorous technical validation with specialized AWS Solutions Architects and global segment leaders. “We’re very proud to achieve this distinction,” says LeoTech’s CEO Scott Kernan. “We’re in exclusive company. The AWS cloud platform offers capabilities that help our clients mitigate dangerous situations, especially this year with the pandemic.”
Verus, the company’s cloud-based inmate phone monitoring software, has helped jails and prisons respond to the emergency conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. LeoTech supported the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) while they launched the COVID-19 Industry Action Group in April 2020 to organize private and nonprofit sectors to assist law enforcement and first responders.
Verus has helped correctional facilities monitor and respond to potentially unsafe situations is effectively being used in jurisdictions across the country, leading to faster investigations and safer policing. “We deployed Verus by LeoTech in August 2020, and it is one the best force multipliers for my agency in its pursuit to make our communities safer and our agency more responsive,” said Chief of Police Art Acevedo, Houston Police Department. “Through this technology, we are working in near real time with all of our stakeholders at every level of government and are impacting issues facing Houston and communities throughout our state.”
Built on the AWS platform, Verus is delivered as a cloud-based application, requiring no infrastructure changes for installation while also allowing for scalability to institution size or call volume. AWS Natural Language Processing (NLP) supports non-biased phone call analysis and transcription, enabling keyword-based searches and alerts. Finally, AWS Translation allows for immediate toggling between Spanish transcripts and English translations.
“The use of our tools impacts those within jails and prisons and the safety of the greater community,” notes Mr. Kernan. “Our partnership with AWS makes our work possible.”
Contact LeoTech at
[email protected] | 310.526.3890
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Awarded $700K for Innovative Policing Strategies
Suffolk County, NY, November 16, 2020 – The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, a LeoTech customer, has received a $700K grant for tackling chronic crime with innovative, evidence-based solutions. The grant funds will support the county’s use of Verus, a patented cutting-edge software by LeoTech that leverages artificial intelligence to monitor inmate phone calls. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office is one of 10 jurisdictions selected by the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance to receive this grant.
Verus by LeoTech advances the technology-based approach introduced by Suffolk County Sheriff Dr. Errol D. Toulon, Jr. This new, sophisticated tool integrates into correctional phone systems, and converts calls into searchable transcripts—to reduce crime, drug and sex trafficking, while also alerting correctional officers to mental health issues among inmates. Verus has even been used to support the COVID-19 response. A versatile and effective tool, Verus saves jurisdictions time and money in their criminal investigations and inmate interventions.
“When we developed Verus, we wanted to expedite the delivery of actionable information so law enforcement and health practitioners working with inmates could respond quickly to rapidly evolving situations,” said LeoTech CEO Scott Kernan.
The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office is leading the way to gain optimal advantage for its crime-fighting force. Sheriff of Suffolk County, Dr. Errol D. Toulon, Jr. has been a strong advocate of the use of data analytics and technology in his jurisdiction. LeoTech has been honored to work with his team to use actionable intelligence to prevent crime and foster inmate rehabilitation, which have been top priorities throughout Sheriff Toulon’s tenure.
“Sheriff Toulon and his team are an excellent model of successfully leveraging technology to enhance his staff’s investigative capabilities and opportunities.” said Kernan. “Verus equips the Suffolk County team in solving crime, creating safer communities, and addressing critical mental healthcare issues that lead to inmate rehabilitation.”
Sheriff Toulon has more than 30 years of criminal justice experience, mainly in corrections intelligence and combating gang violence. Prior to serving as Suffolk County Sheriff, Toulon worked for 22 years as a uniformed member of service with the New York City Department of Correction, including implementing new techniques as deputy commissioner of operations for the New York City Department of Correction.
“Early adoption of technological solutions has long-term benefits for communities throughout the United States,” says Kernan. “We hope Suffolk County is the first of many jurisdictions we can partner with to obtain funding to modernize safe policing.”
Today’s award for Strategies in Policing Innovation is part of a sweeping $458 million in federal grant funding to support state, local, and tribal law enforcement efforts to fight and prevent violent crime in jurisdictions across the United States.
Contact LeoTech at
[email protected] | 310.526.3890
What is LeoTech?
At LeoTech, we “hear the voices that matter.” But what does that mean? How do our products support not only police but entire communities, including inmates in jails and prisons? This is the first post in a series about our company, our people, and the critical needs behind our work.
LeoTech from the beginning
Our company was founded by law enforcement officers (LEOs) committed to law enforcement reform. These LEOs saw the gaps left by using outdated practices and the need to bring policing into modern times. They saw firsthand how inmate phone services in jails and prisons routinely recorded phone calls but never gave LEOs an easy, non-biased way to search for important information within specific calls. Millions of minutes of recorded phone calls could not be accessed except through hours of listening—hours that no agency or facility could spare.
At the same time, they knew that these phone calls contained valuable intelligence. This intelligence could be related to existing investigations or could be used to intervene in ongoing crime. Cries for help from vulnerable inmates were also hidden within these phone calls, information that could potentially save lives.
Filling the resource gap
LeoTech developed Verus as a way to fill this resource gap. Using the power of artificial intelligence, Verus uses non-biased Natural Language Processing to enable not only searches of phone call transcripts but proactive alerts on keywords.
Most importantly, Verus was developed to be a non-biased, objective tool. The natural language processing technology behind AI focuses only on the actual words transcribed from a phone call—not the caller’s identity. Verus has no way to search calls by federally protected classes such as race, age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexuality. Investigators may only search for calls by objective data, such as inmate name, date of call, or keyword.
Soon our company expanded into Warden, a complementary tool that detects illicit mobile phones in jails and prisons. The dangers of these contraband phones are well-known: enabling violence and smuggling within facilities and helping inmates plan crimes in outside communities.
Sharing information, caring for inmate well-being
LeoTech prides itself on working with law enforcement agencies that are willing to share information and are open to progressive ideas in policing. We partner with innovative area crime centers that share information across multiple jurisdictions and agencies at all levels. Transparency with the intelligence gained from Verus is important to us.
Concern for inmate safety and health is critical for our company. Our CEO, Scott Kernan, is the former Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where he worked to reduce the inmate population and remove harsh isolation policies.
LeoTech knows that inmates often do not feel comfortable asking the people to whom they have been entrusted for the help they need. Inmates may speak more frankly in phone calls to friends and family. Because of immediate keyword alerts, Verus helps support inmate physical health, mental health, and safety. In 2019 alone, Verus was involved in 88 suicide prevention incidents in multiple facilities. Verus has also helped identify inmates going through opioid withdrawal or who were threatened by sexual assault. The immediate information from Verus allowed staff to proactively connect at-risk inmates with critical services.
Please check back with us regularly as we explore topics such as inmate health, privileged communications, and why the U.S. Constitution is at the heart of our work.
National Sheriff’s Association Teams with LeoTech on COVID-19 Industry Action Group for Correctional Facilities
ALEXANDRIA, VA, April 13, 2020—The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) has formed an action group with industry partners, including LeoTech and Amazon Web Services (AWS), to help sheriffs’ offices get vital supplies as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. LeoTech is working with NSA to offer a 90-day trial of their inmate phone monitoring system, Verus, for qualified agencies to support pandemic-related mitigation efforts in their facilities.
Agencies interested in participating should visit LeoTech to request a demo and find out more about the Verus trial.
Verus is an AI-based technology developed on the AWS platform which automatically transcribes, monitors, and flags inmate phone calls. The system uses machine learning and automated speech recognition to identify specific conversations based on keywords. Transcriptions can be searched by keywords or other data. The system automatically translates Spanish transcriptions into English.
“NSA is committed to providing solutions that support the health and safety of our deputies and inmates during this crisis,” says Jonathan Thompson, NSA’s CEO and executive director. “Verus is an immediately available resource that can be implemented in inmate phone systems right now.”
“No other tool readily available on the market ingests, processes, transcribes, and analyzes the volume of inmate calls as Verus,” Ryan Reynolds of AWS notes.
“The threat level is at 10 now,” says LeoTech’s CEO Scott Kernan, former Secretary of Corrections for California. “Inmates and staff are at a high level of risk. We also have to face the fact of increased potential for lawsuits. Verus can play a critical role in protecting personnel and inmates while mitigating liability.”
In March, LeoTech noted that 10% of calls in facilities using Verus were related to the pandemic. In one incident, a directed search for the term “coughing” revealed a call recipient discussing coughing with jail staff.
Sheriffs around the country are seeing first-hand how Verus can help. “I was recommended this tool prior to [the] pandemic and took LEO up on a 90-day pilot,” states Sheriff Matthew Wade of Calhoun County, Alabama. “Not only can my investigators not live without it in the course of their normal duties, I am using the tool to mitigate future lawsuits after COVID has left my jails. The inmates are describing, in their own words, how my team is working to keep them safe and clean.”
“We are proud to work with NSA during this national emergency impacting sheriffs’ offices around the country,” says Kernan.
COVID-19: Correctional Leaders Association Resources Made Live
March 20, 2020, Washington, DC – The Correctional Leaders Association (CLA), a partner of LeoTech, has put together a page of resources, solutions, products, and services for correctional leaders during this time of crisis. The page includes a fact sheet detailing how Verus by Leotech is currently supporting facilities from California to New York to Alabama. The page also lists COVID-19 links and updates from agencies and organizations around the country.
Please visit the CLA COVID-19 Resource page today to learn more.
LeoTech and Verus: Supporting Our Nation’s Correctional Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In this unprecedented time, today’s correctional facilities are a risk. Verus, created by LeoTech, is playing a key role in protecting inmates, correctional personnel, and first responders.
Verus is a cutting-edge, AI-based technology that produces near real-time intelligence from inmate phone calls based on keywords and phrases. It automatically downloads, analyzes, and transcribes all recorded inmate calls, proactively flagging them for review.
Right now, Verus is supporting jails and prisons through:
- Medical Surveillance and Monitoring: Phone calls recorded and flagged by Verus help personnel identify sick inmates.
- Enhanced Facility Security: As manpower is down, Verus helps jails and prisons identify problems proactively and assign staff where the need is most critical.
- Enhanced Safety for Inmates and Staff: In addition to medical monitoring, intelligence from Verus mitigates potential violence—including potential COVID-19-related murders.
- Community Support: Intelligence from Verus supports patrols and investigations as community fears and anxieties escalate.
Incidents related to Covid-19
In each of the incidents related below, keyword searches and alerts led to inmate phone calls containing critical, immediately actionable information. (Note: The phone calls quoted contain the actual language used and may be graphic, inciting, or racially insensitive.)
Rumors of infectious disease
Keywords: “disease in here”
An inmate explained to the call recipient that another inmate across the hall had been sick with “that disease.”
Inmate: “You know that disease is in here, huh.”
Recipient: “Are you kidding?”
Inmate: “The teacher told my cellie today that someone across the hall has had it.”
Threat of Violence
Keywords: “kill him”
Location: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Metro Area Crime Center (MACC), Alabama
An inmate discussed fear of the coronavirus and said that inmates planned to kill anyone who was discovered to have the virus in order to contain the spread.
Inmate: “They’re going to try and kill them, the other inmates are going to kill the ones that got it, that way it won’t spread.”
Keywords: “might have corona”
Location: Oxford Police Department, East Metro Area Crime Center (EMACC), Alabama
An inmate explained to his girlfriend that he was sick and showed multiple symptoms of the virus.
Inmate: “I’ve been so damn tired, my body hurt man, I’ve been so tired I just want to go to sleep…My head hurt, my throat hurt, my back hurt. Fuck man! This shit sucks!
Recipient: “You might have the coronavirus.”
Location: Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO), New York
An inmate declared that inmates would begin coughing on guards if coronavirus was discovered in the jail.
Inmate: “N***s said, if the coronavirus hit the jail, they gonna start coughing on the COs.”
Location: Oxford Police Department, EMACC, Alabama
An inmate stated he had symptoms of the coronavirus.
Recipient: “Really ain’t got a lot of symptoms you know, just telling everybody to stay away from somebody coughing and sneezing and just like really flu symptoms.”
Inmate: “Well, that’s what I got then.”
Location: Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO), New York
A call recipient expressed the growing health concerns and fear around the neighborhood, as well as people’s reactions to people sneezing around them.
Recipient: “This really going to be a problem for people though. Because like people are just walking around sneezing. They might get shot for shit like that.”
Location: Montgomery Police Department, Alabama
A caller and an inmate discussed symptoms.
Inmate: “I got a horrible cough. Started coughing last night.”
Inmate: “And I feel like I’m coming down with a cold.”
Recipient: “Go to the doctor.”