Hancock Co. sheriff fights drug problem with body scanner

(WISH Photo)

 GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department is investing in a body scanner for the jail, to fight the growing drug problem behind bars.

Major Brad Burkhart with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department said the “overwhelming” addiction problem in the county has led to more inmates smuggling drugs inside the jail.

So far this year, Burkhart said deputies have found drugs inside the jail 11 times. Last year, there were 16 separate incidents.

County officials agreed to buy the body scanner, so jail staff can see under clothes or in body cavities where inmates may be hiding drugs or other contraband.

Earlier this year a whole cell block of women tested positive for drugs, after jail officials say a woman managed to sneak drugs inside.

Burkhart said the scanner will protect inmates and his staff.

“Recently we’ve had some needles that were found inside the jail. One of the needles that was found actually didn’t even have a cap on it. So there’s a potential for officers getting injured, as well as the stuff getting back into the cell block and them sharing needles and sharing the drugs,” said Burkhart.

The scanner will cost nearly $120,000. $20,000 will come from the commissary fund.

Burkhart said the rest of the money will come from the county’s general fund.

Burkhart said he hopes the scanner will deter inmates from even trying to bring drugs in the jail.

The scanner should be up and running by the end of the year.