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Clinton County Sheriff’s office demonstrates new full body scanner

The Clinton County Sheriff’s office has unveiled a new piece of equipment that is now being used at the Clinton County Jail – a full-body scanner.

The new scanner is located in the Clinton County jail’s intake section, an area normally closed to the public. Clinton County Sheriff David Favro led a group of reporters and legislators past the security checkpoint.

The group went into the area where intake and outtake processing occurs. Across from the officers’ workstation is the new machine. Sheriff David Favro explains the advantage of obtaining the full-body scanner

“Of course in a jail you do pat searches. We’ve had strip searches that have been conducted before. And many times people can conceal weapons, drugs, cell phones, many things inside their body that cannot be detected in either of those two processes," says Favro. "This new device that was recently purchased it is a tool for our officers to help protect themselves and to help protect the inmate population overall.”

Favro explained that the scanner is more accurate and can detect more than a typical airport scanner.

“This scans the internal part of the body and can show you if there’s weapons, drugs, many things that could be concealed inside the body. But it also takes the temperature of the individual. You can immediately medically isolate that person." Favro adds, " You would think that you could confuse the images. This takes a photograph of the person that is being scanned at the same time so there’s no mistaking who the image belongs to.”

Lieutenant Kevin Laurin coordinates scanner training. He heard about the machine during a training conference and discussions began in February about a possible purchase. Officer training began in June and the department began using the device at the beginning of July. Laurin says they have already detected contraband during scans.

“The inmate comes in here, stands. The second day we had this here we had two inmates that were leaving and we decided to scan them and we found them with contraband. They were not just leaving the facility they were going to a state facility," noted Laurin. "It’s been a great tool. My officers the morale has jumped like you can’t believe.”

As imposing as the machine sounds, once you step in, the full body scan only takes 4 seconds.

Lieutenant Laurin notes that the data is sent to a computer terminal on the opposite side of the room.

“It’s a touchscreen and we can put side by side comparisons. We can enhance certain places. We can change the color too. If something’s in there that you see that doesn’t look correct we can either make it darker or lighter, the image. And ultimately with the overdoses and things like that I don’t want anything getting in the jail because that’s our responsibility.”

Sheriff Favro adds that they are responsible if any drugs smuggled into the facility result in a death.

“We have to be spot on every time because we can’t afford to miss something. So you can see how detailed that image actually is and it can show you whether there’s a knife, whether there’s a pill bottle, cell phone, whatever may show up. Sometimes it’s not that obvious.”

“And the human body has no straight lines in it," notes :ieutenant Laurin, "So we look for straight lines, angles, a lot of things like that.”

Only inmates entering and leaving the Clinton County Jail are being scanned, not visitors.

The $160,000 full body scanner was purchased using ARPA funds.