County Council approves funding for body scanner

The Bartholomew County Council has given its approval to help fund a body scanner for the jail. Sheriff Matt Myers says he expects it will cost approximately $180,000 to have a body scanner installed at the jail. Council voted unanimously to fund $130,000 out of the correctional facilities LIT funds. Myers explained during last week’s council work session that the balance could be paid for out of the jail’s commissary budget.

Chief Deputy Chris Lane explains why the body scanner is needed.

Jail staff have seen several attempts at bringing narcotics and other contraband into the jail, including three recent cases where inmates allegedly attempted to hide contraband in a body cavity. As it stands now, an inmate must be taken to a hospital to be checked when jail staff or a deputy believe they are hiding materials. Local inmates have also been driven to Johnson County to be put through the scanner at the jail there.

Chief Deputy Lane says a body scanner will serve as an important tool in the community’s fight against addiction.

Sheriff Myers says he hopes to have a scanner installed, with staff trained on how to use it, by this July. That is when an old section of the jail is set to be reopened in connection with the upcoming drug court.

Sheriff Myers and his staff must now take their proposal to county commissioners to put out for bids.