DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Keeping drugs off the streets is an ongoing battle in Dayton, but so is keeping them out of the jails. The Montgomery County Jail has taken the next step in efforts to keep drugs out, and if they do get in through the doors, keeping them from getting airborne.
Illegal drugs are chemically complex and made into any form a buyer would want, but if exposed, they can spread and infect everyone inside a jail in just one breath Montgomery County Chief Deputy Rob Streck said.
“With methamphetamines having made a very large comeback in our area, it can be a form that can get in the air; that can be airborne,” Streck said.
In August, 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 in Chillicothe. A similar situation happened in Darke County back in April.
“This chemical got into the air and circulated throughout the air vents inside that facility,” Streck added.
With almost 400 pieces of contraband confiscated since January at the Montgomery County Jail, they didn't want to take any chances.
“We heard about those kinds of incidents throughout the state we said we have to do something in case is occurred," he said.
The technology was customized for the jail's architecture, and $2,200 later, anyone inside the jail will now be able to stay safe form potentially inhaling airborne drugs.
“It’s as easy as hitting a switch," Streck said, "shutting the system down and hopefully containing whatever got free to the area where it’s at.”
A red light will light up on a computer if the button is pressed, and the air handling valve shuts off.
“We were specifically looking for the quickest way we could turn off all of those fans," he said.
Montgomery County Jail is one of the first area jails to install such a system.
“To provide what we believe is a very good fix for a problem that could or could not happen," Streck added. “For the price of the cost, we are pretty happy with the outcome. “