By Eric Althoff
KOKOMO, Ind. — The Howard County Criminal Justice Center, in Kokomo, will be adding a scanning device for new arrivals that will be able to detect contraband such as illegal drugs on someone being booked, according to the Kokomo Perspective. This comes in conjunction with a request for proposal for an overhaul to the jail’s entire booking area in order to make more room for the scanner itself.
The Kokomo Perspective reported that the body scanner is capable of revealing the stomach contents of someone passing through it. Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers said that his department has all too frequently dealt with situations wherein a new arrival to the jail faces an unforeseen medical emergency after ingesting contraband such as drugs at the time of arrest.
“We feel like the body scanner will help us [with the drug problem] and make sure that [we can find] any dangerous contraband in the way of weapons or anything” similar, Rogers told Correctional News.
Rogers said that the Howard County Board of Commissioners has already authorized the letting of bids for the scanner. The Kokomo Perspective report cited a projected cost of $200,000 for the device, but Rogers believes the price tag will clock in at some $50,000 less.
“We assume that the project will be approved sometime in December, and as soon as that is done, we’re ready to purchase the body scanner and have it [sent] for modifications,” Rogers said.
The Howard County jail was built in the early 1990s and hasn’t been upgraded since, Kokomo Perspective reported.
Rogers, who is the outgoing sheriff of the county, said that he will work diligently to ensure that the project remains on a viable timetable for his successor, who will assume office on Jan. 1.
“We’re not really expanding the jail this time; the only thing we’re doing is remodeling our booking center,” he said. “And as a product of that, we wanted to make this facility safter, so that’s why we have looked into a body scanner [as part of] this remodeling.”
A report from the Kokomo Perspective contributed to this article.