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Commissioners approve purchase of body scanner for county jail

Friday, May 27, 2022 - On Monday, May 23, Sequoyah county commissioners approved the purchase of an X-ray machine/body scanner for the county jail. Prior to its approval, commissioners had the opportunity to learn about the x-ray machine and its purpose during the weekly county commissioners' meeting.

The X-ray machine is a full-body scanner that can detect objects that aren't visible during the processing of an inmate. The technology of the machine would help to prevent contraband from entering the jail through the body cavities of individuals. Additionally, it would decrease in-jail overdoses by providing evidence of self-inflected injuries.

Sheriff Larry Lane said, "We used to strip search everyone coming into the jail, but we no longer have that ability. New rules and regulations restrict the strip-searching process because it is now a violation of rights and privacy."

In Oklahoma, a house bill regarding self-inflicted injury was passed in 2021. House Bill 1633 aligns with the county commissioner’s approval regarding Sequoyah County Sheriff’s need for the X-ray machine.

House Bill 1633 states, "A person who is in the custody of a county jail shall be primarily responsible for payment of the cost of medical care provided to the person for any intentionally self-inflicted injury sustained while in the custody. The person shall be charged for the medical care and treatment by the provider of the necessary care."

"Currently there are around ninety lawsuits against county jails regarding medical issues and overdoses in Oklahoma. This machine will be beneficial to the county and would alleviate many of these barriers," Sheriff Lane said.

In new business, there was discussion and approval regarding the signing of the title sheet in reference to the Indian Road restoration project in District # 2. Commissioners also approved updating the courthouse panic alarm system.

During consideration of resolutions and bids, there was discussion and approval regarding the following:

*A cooperative agreement by and between USDA-APHIS wildlife services and the Sequoyah county board of commissioners.

*The signing of the community development block grant disaster recovery subrogation agreement in collaboration with EODD

*The law enforcement mutual aid agreement for voluntary cooperation and operational assistance by and between the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Department and the City of Sallisaw

Lindsie Dyer, Staff Writer

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