MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - New technology will join pat-down searches and drug dog searches at the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office.
Inmates are now going through a SOTER RS Full Body Security Scanner. It can reveal banned items, such as drugs and weapons, that inmates may hide in their bodies and smuggle into jail.
The Marquette County Jail has been using the scanner Monday.
"The main purpose for this device is safety. It's the safety for the correctional officers and the safety for the inmates," says Sheriff Greg Zyburt.
Marquette County Jail is the second facility in the state of Michigan to use the $130,000 device.
"We can pay now, or we can pay later, and this is being proactive," Zyburt said.
After more than 30 reports of drugs being smuggled in and one overdose at the Marquette County Jail, Sheriff Zyburt believes using this equipment will become more common nationwide.
"The big thing is liability. We're responsible. Once they come in jail, we're responsible for that person's well-being," he said.
Previously, pat-down searches were routine for new and returning inmates.
With the new technology and protocol, Sheriff Zyburt expects a safer environment.
"We're trying to get the word out to everyone that we have this device now and if you got something on your body, in your body, give it to us at the beginning," says Zyburt.
Sheriff Zyburt says if inmates confess to possessing something illegal, they be charged with a misdemeanor. But if they're found with banned items after the scan, they'd face a five-year felony.