PENDLETON — Umatilla County continues to tighten security at the courthouse in Pendleton.

The county board of commissioners Wednesday voted 3-0 to allow the purchase of a $17,532 X-ray inspection system for court security.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Dwight Johnson said staff now uses a magnetometer and physically checks packages and bags, but an X-ray machine is the industry standard and would be more efficient and effective.

A grant from the state of Oregon for security covers the costs, he said, and court security will keep its aging magnetometer as a backup.

The sheriff’s office earlier this year implemented full-time security on the second floor of the courthouse. The previous practice was to use a metal detector during high-profile court cases or when there was a possibility of violence in court, such as for hearings involving gang members.

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