Rowan Detention Center targets drugs, contraband with X-ray machine

Published 4:30 pm Wednesday, March 9, 2022

SALISBURY — With a new piece of equipment, Rowan County Detention Center officials hope to intercept drugs and other contraband before they find a way into the facility.

At cost of $144,000, the scanner, a Tek 84 Intercept, is a 21st-century update to a process that’s mostly involved pat-down searches or asking people to squat and cough. The machine scans incoming inmates with an X-ray and takes their temperature in an attempt to prevent illness from spreading inside the facility.

“Prevention is 90% of my goal, to prevent one person from bringing illegal narcotics into the detention center, to prevent one overdose or two,” said Capt. Greg Hannold, who supervises the jail. “It can prevent a death from happening in the jail. … We don’t work off of charges. We work on trying to keep people in here safe.”

Manual methods of searching previously missed contraband brought into the jail, Hannold said. Once all incoming inmates know they’ll be scanned, Hannold hopes they’ll stop attempting to bring in drugs and contraband altogether.

The scanner works because detention center officers detect anomalies inside of a person’s body, including cavities or gaps in unusual locations.

Hannold said jail staff used a X-ray scanner on 10 inmates Feb. 28 before finding a bag of heroin the 11th inmate tried to hide inside of her body. Another inmate, Glenn Douglas Rogers, 31, was charged with bringing a drugs onto jail premises Tuesday.