Livingston County improves jail security by using high tech scanners

Posted at: 01/30/2014 5:42 PM
Updated at: 01/30/2014 5:58 PM
By: Lia Lando

Do you remember those high tech scanners that were the subject of so much controversy at the Greater Rochester International Airport? They’ll now be found at a local jail. 

News10NBC is talking about the ones that people claimed were too invasive, but the Livingston County Sheriff says they’ll make a big difference at his county’s jail.

Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty says he had an opportunity to get these scanners at a real bargain. Sheriff Dougherty says they bought five full body scanners that would usually cost a total of about $1 million, but he only had to pay $15,000 thanks to a federal surplus program.

Right now, Livingston County uses metal detectors, which only reveal so much. Just last week, Dougherty says a woman came in to visit an inmate and tried to smuggle in oxycontin. He says these scanners will make it harder to smuggle in contraband.

Sheriff Thomas Dougherty, Livingston County, said, “It could be a weapon, it could be a drug, it could even be tobacco. I can anticipate that some people may not want to go through those scanners, but they still have the option either to phone into an inmate or to correspond via the U.S. Mail, but if they're going to enter into our facility, there are going to have to go through the scanner.”

Sheriff Dougherty says these scanners will be used several times a day and visitors and new inmates will all have to go through them.