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Cascade County Sheriff's Office is now using a body scanner

Posted at 5:52 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 10:35:39-05

The Cascade County Sheriff's Office has been working to upgrade safety equipment inside the jail to help make the it safer for inmates and for staff.

One of the items on their list of upgrades was to get a body scanner to help prevent the amount of drugs and other illegal items from being brought into the facility.

The Sheriff's Office and the Cascade County Commissioners' Office have been working to get this body scanner since Sheriff Jesse Slaughter took office.

The scanner will be used whenever there is a concern someone may be carrying a dangerous item - such as drugs or weapons - inside a body cavity.

We previously reported the Sheriff said they have been seeing a large number of drugs moving through the facility and without the ability to conduct body cavity searches at the jail, the staff have not been able to slow down the drugs coming in.

This machine will be able to put an end to drugs coming in, along with the Sheriff's office K-9 unit helping to check the facility itself.

Sheriff Slaughter explained, “Due to the limits of the Montana Constitution, the dogs can’t search people, so this is our way we can legally and ethically search people.”

The Spectrum BODYSCAN Complete Security System body scanner is now in use and has already uncovered illicit items.

The scanner is designed using a low dose X ray, which takes seven seconds to complete, and provides a clear image to help officers detect weapons, phones, liquids, explosives, drugs, wires, and plastics.

Detention Center officers have been going through training on how to operate and understand the scanner to ensure they are able to detect if someone is hiding an object in their body cavity and take the necessary steps to ensure removal.

The manufacturer of the scanner allows a six-month trial. After the trial period then the Sheriff' Office can decide if they want to keep it permanently or to try another type of scanner. County Commissioners are working to get the cost of the scanner approved for the 2021 budget to help with the cost.