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Vilas County Law Enforcement Committee Approves Body Scanning System for Jail

Vilas County Sheriff's Office

A full body scanning system for persons being brought into the Vilas County jail was approved last week by the county law enforcement committee subject to an interpretation by the county corporation counsel if competitive bids were needed.

Jail administrator Bill Weiss indicated he solicited information on body scanners with one whose dimensions will fit into the jail complex without expensive modifications, indicating they taped off the unit dimensions and one will fit.

“We have one that allows full body scanning of a person standing up fully clothed at a net price of $169,000,” Weiss said.  “Adopting a full body scanning system will allow rapid detection of any contraband such as illegal drugs or hidden weapons.”

The system takes a quick four second scan rather than seven seconds with the person standing still and not moving on a conveyor belt. The system anticipated is Tek84 from a company in California. The scan is straight through a person rather than an angled path which is the shortest distance through the body. There is no waiting for a warm-up, it’s ready to scan at a moments notice.

Other proposals received varied in price from a high of $198,00 to a low of $118,000 but would not fit the current jail system.

There was a question if skirting the $25,000 statuary competition bid laws might come into play with chairman Jerry Burkett indicating any motion to purchase needs to be approved by corporation counsel “so we don’t violate bidding laws.”

The committee approved purchase which will be paid for through the CARES Act subject to a decision if competitive bids were required. 

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