County jail getting full body scanner

PENDLETON — Umatilla County Jail staff are getting a new tool to prevent people from smuggling in contraband.

The county board of commissioners Wednesday approved the purchase of a $173,000 full-body scanner for the jail. Sheriff’s Capt. Thoren Hearn oversees the jail and explained to the board at its public meeting the need for device.

During the past year, he said, the jail has had at least six instances where someone was able to bring in and use drugs, even after strip searches, including a female who overdosed on fentanyl two out of her last three stays. The full body scanner, he said, would detect such contraband.

The $172,800 price includes training on the device and a five-year warranty. Command Sourcing Inc. of Loomis, California, is suppling the scanner, and the county is buying through a partnership with Clackamas County.

Hearn also told the board the jail received more revenue than the sheriff’s office expected, and that money can cover the cost of the scanner.

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