Sheriff’s Office unveils new body scanner

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office has a new, full-body scanner.

It is similar to what you would see in airports and it is set up right at their back entrance of the Sangamon County Jail. It is to make sure people are not bringing any contraband or illegal materials into the prison. However, before, if they believed somebody may have a weapon or drugs hidden on their person, they would have to do more thorough searches.

Footprints indicate where a person should stand as they go through the scanner.

Now they can use just the machine, which gets the same results, while being much less intrusive. The sheriff said this is not a prevalent problem, but he would rather be proactive. “On occasion, we do have things in here, not very often, in fact its very rare, but its one of those things that if it happens one time, we certainly could have a very big issue with that. This involves the safety of every inmate in the jail.” The machine cost $180,000, including wiring and extra computer equipment.

However, that was not taxpayer money. It came from the Inmate Wellness Fund, which is gathered from inmates buying items at the commissary.

So far the machine is not in use with inmates yet. The sheriff’s staff are still undergoing training to use it. They expect it to be in use in the next two to three weeks.

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