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      County jail asks permission to purchase full body scanner

      The Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office is asking the county for permission to purchase one of the scanners to use at the jail.

      The Transportation Security Administration is upgrading their full body scanners at airports, and that means some county jails are getting the older models.

      The Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office is asking the county for permission to purchase one of the scanners to use at the jail. The market value for one Rapiscan Secure 1000SP body scanner is $159,640, but will be available to the county for $15,000. If approved, the sheriff's office will apply for a grant that will cover 50-percent of the costs. Grand Traverse Sheriff's Office would pay no more than $7,500.

      "There's other counties in the state that currently have full body scanners and we've contacted them and they said that they don't know how they've gotten along without theirs for so many years," said Lt Dennis Monroe, Asst. Administrator for the Grand Traverse County Jail. "It's caught so many things that people have tried to bring into a correctional facility. Contraband, there's been handcuff keys put in body cavities to hide them, and this detects that. So it's going to be a lot safer and a lot more secure for the inmates as well as the staff."

      The scanners would help officers check for drugs, weapons, and other illegal items before an inmate is put in jail. It would also help eliminate having to call in a female officer on overtime to conduct a strip search on a female subject, if another female officer is not on duty. Having the scanner would also reduce the possibility of a civil liability when conducting cross gender clothed body searches.

      If the request is approved by the county, the Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office hopes to have the scanner sometime in January 2014.