table of contents


The Placer County Sheriff’s Office serves the people of Placer County by providing law enforcement from the Sacramento county line to the Nevada state line at Lake Tahoe. Additionally, Placer County Sheriff’s Office provides contract law enforcement services to the city of Colfax and the township of Loomis.

The mission of the Placer County Sheriff’s Office is to maintain the quality of life enjoyed in Placer County, and to ensure that the county is a safe place to live, work, and visit. We spoke with IT Projects Manager, Heather Pence, to learn more about the challenges the Country faces and how Lifesize’s video conferencing solution helped the police force overcome communication roadblocks that were getting in the way of their mission.


For a county that covers 1,502 square miles of mountainous terrain in Northern California and requires a two-hour drive end to end, Placer County was looking for a video conferencing solution that would cut travel time and increase the attendance of vital daily meetings.

After discovering that other o ice departments had previously installed video conferencing endpoints, Heather learned that sta  members were neglecting the solution because they thought the process to join or conduct a meeting was too complicated. They needed a solution that anyone in the o ice would be able to push a button and use, whether conducted by an IT professional or a police chief with less technical knowledge.

“We had some Tanberg systems that were installed by the County IT & Communications Department. They weren’t easy to use, so no one used them.”

— Heather Pence, IT Projects Manager at Placer County Sheriff’s Office

Placer County searched for a video conferencing solution that would address these concerns. The new video conferencing solution needed to be easy to use, provide great quality, and be an efficient method of conducting critical safety and daily status update meetings.


Heather’s research led her to Lifesize. She heard about the quality and ease of use of Lifesize’s video conferencing solutions and knew it would be a huge improvement over their legacy equipment. She piloted the program with two locations and it grew from there — now the County has deployed almost a dozen conference room system and enabled individuals to use the Lifesize cloud service on their laptops and mobile devices.

“We piloted the program with two systems and it’s since grown into our satellite o ices, jail locations and training rooms. We’re constantly finding new ways to benefit from Lifesize.”


With a high-quality video conferencing solution like Lifesize, scheduling, attending and recording trainings has never been easier. In fact, The Placer County Sheriff’s Office and faculty now average about 3,500 minutes and 240 calls a month, with video conferencing now being the preferred method of communication between offices.

“We have it dialed in now to where everything is plug and play at this point.”

It was also important for Heather to find a solution that would be able to provide single-vendor support. Multiple vendor solutions and DIY kits complicate ongoing maintenance and a single vendor solution limits communication delays and makes replacing and attaining support quick and efficient. For the sheriff’s office of Placer County, this was indispensable.

“If a cable goes bad, Lifesize is right on the spot. Lifesize usually sends it the next day. We had a codec go bad when someone knocked it off the shelf. Two days later we had a new codec up and running.”

Moving forward, Heather and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office continues searching for ways to improve their video conferencing environment. Placer County will soon add recording as a feature to help record and save trainings as well as outfit a mobile command vehicle with Lifesize. Their goal is to provide an efficient way to relay communication in a disaster situation, like a California wildfire.