Vendor flies sheriff's employees out to see body scanner in person
Sheriff's office bought the technology after the vendor financed a trip to see the technology firsthand
By Bethany Rodgers
SANTA FE — The vendor who sold a $118,750 body scanner to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office last year did so after financing a trip to New Mexico for two agency members who wanted to see the technology firsthand.
The sheriff’s office invested in the scanner to help deputies staunch the flow of contraband into the county’s detention center. The county arranged the purchase with a single company, ODSecurity, in a no-bid process that officials justified by explaining “no comparative or competitive quotations can be obtained.” After county officials approved the purchase, however, a competitor stepped forward to offer their body scanner for about $9,000 cheaper.
Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said his staff had been unaware of the rival company’s existence until its representatives contacted them, frustrated that they’d been unable to vie for the county’s business. Because he believed ODSecurity was alone in its field, Jenkins said he didn’t think the company was trying to outshine a competitor by flying two of his agency members to New Mexico; for that reason, Jenkins said he had no qualms agreeing to the travel arrangement.