Pottawattamie County Jail unveils new security system


COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia (FOX42KPTM) - The Pottawattamie County Jail now has a new tool designed to prevent inmates from hiding dangerous items somewhere on their body. The new equipment is getting put into place on the heels of a painful anniversary. It's been almost one year since Deputy Mark Burbridge was shot and killed at the site of the jail.

"This new equipment will really help," said Dustin Ceder, a detention supervisor.

Ceder is talking about a new body scanner. Something that might not get detected during a pat down search will be seen on the scanner's monitor. Inside a trash can, for example, objects like spoons and scissors will stick out like a sore thumb.

"Anything made of metal or more dense than the surrounding content will stand out," said Ceder.

The new system is being put into place about two weeks before the one year mark when Burbridge was killed and Deputy Pat Morgan was injured. Sheriff Jeff Danker says a hidden key used to get out of handcuffs would have been picked up on the scanner and won't go unexposed now.

"It should enhance our security a lot more," said Sheriff Danker.

Danker says as far as he knows the new body scanner, which he describes as a low dose X-Ray system that won't affect anyone's health, is a first-of-its-kind in Iowa and it's important to have.

"Contraband in a detention facility is extremely dangerous. It's important to be able to detect that."

The sheriff said Monday the scanner is a security addition and won't replace anything. It will be used for inmates going into and out of the jail.

"It really is an excellent tool to be able to have in any type of detention facility whether it's a prison or a jail."

The sheriff says the new machine should go into full operation by the end of the week. He says it comes with a price tag price of about $190,000. The money used to pay for it comes from the Pottawattamie County Jail budget.

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