2014-01-07 / Front Page

Putnamville Facility Uses Detection Dog To Sniff And Seize Cell Phones


Jarod Collenbaugh and Dixie are pictured as they search the cell phone offender’s bed area. Jarod Collenbaugh and Dixie are pictured as they search the cell phone offender’s bed area. Cell phones, everybody wants one. They connect us to family and friends and keep us abreast of current affairs. Incarcerated individuals want them, too, but for very different reasons.

The possession of cell phones by offenders in our prisons is prohibited. They pose a threat to the safety and security of other offenders, staff and members of the community. Offenders use them to circumvent prison phone monitoring systems, to facilitate acts of violence inside and outside of correctional facilities, to communicate with gang associates, and to devise plans to introduce narcotics and contraband into our facilities.

Putnamville Correctional Facility (PCF) Superintendent Stanley Knight, is using all the tools at his disposal to find cell phones that have been trafficked into the facility.

Linton resident, Jarod Collenbaugh, a correctional officer and K-9 member from the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, and his sixteen month old dog named Dixie are the newest tools in Knight’s arsenal.


Richard Criss and Jarod Collenbaugh are pictured with Collenbaugh’s sixteen month old dog named Dixie. Richard Criss and Jarod Collenbaugh are pictured with Collenbaugh’s sixteen month old dog named Dixie. Knight enlisted their services after the two successfully completed an eight week program certifying them in cell phone detection.

Collenbaugh issued commands as Dixie sniffed her way through offender bed areas and property boxes looking for hidden cell phones. When she indicated a “hit”, a cell phone was recovered.

“That’s one less phone that we have to worry about,” remarked PCF Assistant Superintendent of Operations Tim Phegley. “One less phone that may be used for criminal activity, or worse, cause someone to be hurt.”

PCF staff finds and confiscates an average of 20 cell phones each month.

“Unfortunately, a small percentage of our staff and visitors succumb to manipulative offenders. When these individuals are identified, we act swiftly and aggressively, to hold all involved accountable for their actions,” said Knight. “And until other methods are approved to stop unauthorized cell phone transmittal in our facilities, Collenbaugh and Dixie have proven to be an invaluable resource.”

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