DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Since March, the body scanners at the Montgomery County Jail have helped keep 83 contraband items out of the jail.
FOX 45's Bryn Caswell spoke with jail officials after 29 people, including an inmate, 23 corrections officers, and four nurses were transported to hospitals after being exposed to an unidentified substance at Ross Correctional Institution Wednesday.
The body scanner is a little different than the one you step into at the airport, as it's designed to look for contraband while inmates are being booked. They can find items hidden in body cavities, which happened to one woman while FOX 45's cameras were rolling.
"Packed full with syringes," correctional officer Tyler Viernes said, "and had a little bit of drugs actually in that little bag."
Chief Deputy Rob Streck said they started realizing the opioid crisis had been trickling into the jail from the streets years ago
"Still a huge fear of ours," he said. "That people can get in here, get drugs up into one of our housing areas, and then share it among themselves or overdose themselves."
"The scanner has helped a lot," Strick continued, "and those are 83 items that didn't get into the jail which could really hurt, and possibly cause overdoses throughout the facility."
Miami and Greene counties have body scanners in their jails, while Clark and Darke counties do not, even after Darke County's drug spill in April. Officials said they don't have room for a scanner there.
However, with overdoses happening in jails across the state, Streck said he believes every jail should have a body scanner.
"Everybody who's in here day in and day out," he said, "this body scanner makes everyone much safer."
The scanners cost about $127,000, and Montgomery County paid the cost of the machine as well as the sheriff's $52 million annual budget.