By SDCN Staff
San Diego, CA–The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Data Services Division and the Detentions Services Bureau are in the process of developing a pilot project to closely monitor individuals who are identified as someone who may experience a medical emergency while in custody, officials said.
The technology is similar to commercial fitness devices that monitor heart rates. Unlike commercial technology, devices used in a custodial setting must be tamper-proof and designed in a manner that does not pose any security risks to the individual, staff, and the facility, the Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release.
The Sheriff’s Department has been working for a few months to build the infrastructure, policies and best practices to deploy this technology.
“We have developed a timeline for a small pilot program using ten devices at San Diego Central Jail. This pilot program will focus on some of our most at-risk individuals,” the Sheriff’s Department stated.
The devices will be consensually placed on those who are deemed medically vulnerable. Their vitals and motion will be monitored by deputies and medical staff who will be alerted when there is a change in the condition of the person’s health.
“We see potential for this program and its expansion. There are challenges related to battery life, the size of the device, and the increased staff work needed to support the program,” the Sheriff’s Dept. added. “We hope this pilot program proves effective in supporting our existing security and wellness checks and other monitoring programs. It will not replace any of our current policies.”
The cost of the program is approximately $1,000 per unit and is funded by the Sheriff’s Department’s current budget.