Washington County Sheriff

Washington County Sheriff

“Peace of mind is why I need Samsara. When a deputy is on a back road and stops a vehicle at 3AM, I need to know they’re safe.”

JEFFREY MURPHY, SHERIFF, WASHINGTON COUNTY, NEW YORK

Sheriff’s department covering 846 square miles gains instant visibility of their fleet and deputies with Samsara’s fleet management platform:

  • Sheriff and 911 center required accurate location and dispatching for deputies
  • Deployed Samsara VG-series gateways to monitor vehicles in real-time, coordinate response to calls, and ensure safety of deputies

Highlights:

  • Samsara Dashboard enables real-time visibility of deputies, which Sheriff uses to ensure their safety in rural areas
  • Helicopter View allows dispatch team to help new deputies navigate with turn-by-turn directions
  • Vehicle diagnostics instantly informs maintenance staff of check engine lights and low tire pressure
  • Fleet Viewer supplies deputies with full visibility of nearby colleagues and vehicles

Sheriff Jeffrey J. Murphy leads a team of 174 employees charged with protecting life and property in rural Washington County, NY. The county spans 846 square miles, and most of it is rural and mountainous. With such a vast area to protect, it’s a constant challenge for Sheriff Murphy to ensure the visibility and safety of the deputies.

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Murphy wanted to know the exact location of his officers, so he began looking for a GPS solution. When he heard about Samsara through his IT solution provider, Murphy tried Samsara VG-series gateways, looking closely at how they performed in locations that historically had weak cell signal. He compared it to an older solution that had previously been used by neighboring departments.

Murphy was impressed when he saw that the gateways kept reception in remote areas. If the gateways did lose signal, they stored all location and vehicle diagnostic data until they regained signal.

After installing VG-series gateways in all their vehicles, Murphy and team now have full visibility of their deputies, and can easily locate them if they get lost or need help.

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When an emergency call comes in, time is of the essence. The dispatch team locates the caller, then finds the nearest available deputy.

The team uses Samsara Dispatch to instantly find all nearby vehicles, compare their locations to the response location, and identify the nearest officer. They no longer radio to every deputy requesting their location and compare locations, saving critical time.

If 911 center requires exact vehicle location, for instance in a parking lot, the team can locate each vehicle using Helicopter View. The dispatcher can see the real-time location with precise granularity, and help the officer navigate turn-by-turn.

With Samsara’s vehicle maintenance features, the maintenance team sees vehicle diagnostic data for the entire fleet, including oil level, battery level, odometer and check engine light. If the check engine light is on, Samsara decodes the fault code into a human-readable format so the technician can pinpoint the issue. Samsara even shows details like seat belt status and tire pressure in the department's Ford vehicles.

“With Samsara Maintenance we see check engine lights and immediately get the vehicle into service.”

Occasionally, an officer needs to locate a fellow deputy or vehicle. They use Samsara Fleet Viewer on their in-vehicle computers to view the real-time locations of their fellow officers. They keep it running all day so they can identify the nearest team member and ask for assistance if needed, all without going back and forth with the dispatch for directions. This comes in handy, especially when an officer must find a vehicle in an apartment complex - they easily pinpoint the vehicle’s exact location.

“Our deputies keep Samsara Fleet Viewer running all day.”

The Washington County Sheriff’s Department is known as innovators in law enforcement. From snowmobile patrols, to intricate crime fighting tactics and world-class training, the department is always looking for opportunities to better serve and protect the community.

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With the addition of Samsara, the department spends more time focused on enforcement efforts and less time locating and fixing their vehicles. Samsara has reduced their administrative costs, and plan to use the Samsara WiFi Hotspot to further reduce operating costs. Among all the other benefits, Sheriff Murphy emphasizes that peace of mind was the genesis and continues to be the most notable benefit of Samsara.

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