‘A hard target’
Sgt. Rich Allee was sending items through Dodge County’s new 3D security scanner last week when he found something interesting: a razor blade, stuck between two business cards.
The incident at the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office turned out to be innocuous, though the pocketbook’s owner was warned not to try and send such an item through again.
Allee, the county’s Court Security Sergeant, said the blade was something he may not have found using a manual search - which was the process until the high-tech VOTI XR3D-6 weapons detection scanner went live over the past couple weeks.
“It picks up a lot of stuff,” he said. “It’s pretty cool. It’s a great tool that we have for deputies. That way, I don’t have to stick my hand in anybody’s purse, to get stuck by a razor blade that might be in there. It’s a great resource that we can utilize to help the safety of not only us here at the checkpoint, but also throughout the courthouse.”
The machine offers a variety of modes to inspect items, which can be plainly seen on a computer screen but could be missed otherwise. It advises the screener if something should be checked closely.
It is sensitive enough to pick up suspect items, including narcotics, and screeners can see anything that looks like a weapon.
Sheriff Scott Rose said the compact scanner cost $19,500. It was paid for with police state aid funds.
It was installed at the behest of Minnesota Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea, who set directives for court security improvements she wished to see.
Rose said courtroom shootings and incidents in government offices are on the rise, in large and small communities.