08/27/19 Sheriff App Purdue Team

Tippecanoe County Sheriff Bob Goldsmith stands with the team of Purdue students he worked with to create the sheriff's department's new app.

In an effort to help citizens of Tippecanoe County access information about the sheriff’s department more easily, the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Department has released an Android app.

“Our county website can be tough to navigate," Tippecanoe County Sheriff Bob Goldsmith said Tuesday afternoon. “My hope is by releasing this to the public for free, it will help cut down on our phone calls.”

The app, which is available on the Google Play store, has several buttons that link directly to the corresponding page on the Tippecanoe County website.

"If you have an administrative question you can hit it right here on your phone," Goldsmith said. "If you want dispatch or a deputy it'll pull up (the phone number)."

Goldsmith reached out to his former forensics professor at Purdue, Marcus Rogers, who still teaches in the Polytechnic Institute, for some help with the project.

“Dr. Rogers got me in contact with Dr. [Eric] Matson, I met with Dr. Matson, he then got a team of students together and they began working on the app.”

The app was created in cooperation with a team of Purdue students under Matson, also a professor at the Polytechnic Institute. According to Goldsmith, the team was made up of a mixture of graduate and undergraduate students.

The idea for a Tippecanoe County Sheriff app occurred to him when he was attending a new sheriff school and he got to talking with the Porter County sheriff. As soon as the idea occurred to him, he began to worry about the budget.

“I mean, I thought there’s no way we have the funding for it,” Goldsmith said.

After a few months as sheriff, Goldsmith talked to an app developer about pricing.

“The cost was gonna be $40,000 and there was a maintaining fee of several thousand dollars every year,” he said.

By working with Purdue, the app cost taxpayers nothing.

“The University is a tremendous resource,” he said. “When you work with a partnership like that, you can’t put a price tag on that.”

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