Making arrests, reacting to prison escapes and responding to emergencies are not just responsibilities limited to police officers; the state of Colorado community parole officers also perform these duties. Officers for the Colorado Department of Correction Adult Parole Division know these tough tasks require tough equipment. On their belts — alongside the handcuffs, firearms and radios — you are also likely to find a BlackBerry® smartphone outfitted with an OtterBox® Defender Series® case.
The division deployed OtterBox Defender Series cases for the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8350i. Elizabeth Johnson, an IT systems support administrator for the state of Colorado, said they needed a sturdier case for parole officers, who previously were using basic plastic holsters or leather cases and breaking more than a few devices. The smartphones were being damaged as a result of drops, dings and contact with other equipment.
“I did a lot of research and did not find any other cases that fit my needs,” Johnson said. Her search brought her to OtterBox. A broken device means more than just the price of repair or replacement for a resource-strapped government agency. The cost includes downtime for the officers and time from the IT staff to obtain and swap out the smartphones. One Colorado Springs, Colorado officer, for example, needed three replacements and two repairs done on his BlackBerry, requiring him to travel three hours roundtrip to have the device diagnosed and replaced at the main Denver office. In one year, that officer’s repairs and replacement costs — including downtime — totaled more than $2,500.* With more than 350 officers statewide, these expenses quickly add up.
Since deploying the OtterBox cases, the number of broken devices for the division has been dramatically reduced. In addition to the BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphones employees have OtterBox cases on their Curve™ 8330, 8830, 8530 models and Tour™ 9600 models. Executives, who spend more time in the office than out on the street, are now sporting the slim-line Commuter Series® cases from OtterBox. In all, around 100 employees in the division are using the OtterBox solution, with more in line to be equipped. They’ve worked so well that Johnson is now recommending them outside of the division as well.
“I do some outside consulting, and the first thing I do when I meet a new client is get their BlackBerry model and get them into an OtterBox,” she said. “I tell them this is how to get your phone to last.”
*These costs are generalizations and estimates provided by the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology, Colorado Divisions of Community Parole IT Systems Support BlackBerry Administrator based on equipment cost, expense of staff time spent on incidents and potential downtime due to loss of device.