Full body scanner lowers civil liability risk at Mich. county jail

Helps cut down on contraband, lowers risk of civil liability and eliminates arguments against strip searches


By C1 Staff

GRAND TRAVERSE CO., Mich. — The Grand Traverse County Jail recently put an older TSA full body scanner into operation at their facility.

The Rapiscan Secure 1000SP body scanner, valued at $159,640, was purchased by the jail for $15,000 after the TSA replaced full body scanners at airports, accordin to Up North Live. Half of the purchase was covered by a grant.

It's called the Rapiscan Secure 1000SP body scanner.  The market value is $159,640, but Grand Traverse County purchased it for $15,000, half of which was covered by a grant. (Image Up North Live)
It's called the Rapiscan Secure 1000SP body scanner. The market value is $159,640, but Grand Traverse County purchased it for $15,000, half of which was covered by a grant. (Image Up North Live)

“The whole idea is that this is one more tool to prevent contraband from entering for the safety of everyone,” said Sgt. Todd Ritter, Jail Administrative Sergeant.

“We’re looking for large weapons, anything that can be constituted as a weapon like a pen, pencil, little pocket knives,” said Dep. Mary Schwettmann.

The scanner will be used in addition to a physical body search, but have also eliminated the need to call for a female officer on overtime to conduct a physical body search of an inmate before deciding whether or not to perform a strip search on her.

It has also reduced the possibility of civil liabilities.

“People can’t say when we do a strip search now that it was arbitrary or that it was done just to single them out,” Ritter said. “If we’re strip searching them after a scan, it’s because we noticed an anomaly on the body that we need to figure out what it is to determine that they’re not trying to bring contraband into the facility.”

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