The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office was the first sheriff’s office in North Carolina to purchase the Intercept- Tek84 Body Scanner - and obtained it using CARES funding at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, multiple counties across NC and several other states have followed suit, using the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office proposal to seek COVID relief funds to purchase scanners for their facilities.
In June of 2020, Sheriff Greg Seabolt made a request to the Randolph County Board of Commissioners to use available grant funding through the CARES 2020 grant to purchase the Tek84 Body Scanner. He provided information from the research he and staff had conducted on the scanner. During the COVID-19 pandemic, detention officers had to be quarantined due to exposure during the pre-booking process at the Randolph County Detention Center even though every precaution to prevent exposure was being taken. Using the Tek84 Intercept Full-Body Scanner helps mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19 as an infection control measure by reducing staff-to-inmate physical contact and reducing or eliminating the need for lengthy strip searches. Despite their best efforts, the job still must be done, which was putting them in very close contact with an individual and at risk. The exposure often led to lengthy officer quarantines that greatly impact the workforce at the facility. The Commissioners approved the request making Randolph County the first Sheriff’s office in NC to purchase this scanner.
The body scanner was also a tool that Sheriff Seabolt had been trying to obtain for the detention center in order to make the facility safer for officers and inmates since taking office in 2018.
Sheriffs are now commonly using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to purchase scanners. The benefits of the body scanners in jails far exceed the parameters of preventing the spread of COVID in facilities. Additionally, body scanners prevent drug and contraband smuggling into the facility. Drugs have been discovered in body cavities on numerous occasions during the booking process. The Tek 84 body scanner has almost completely eliminated any possibility for the introduction of contraband into the housing units at the detention center, thereby creating a safer detention center environment for inmates and staff. The US Department of Treasury has now ruled that ARPA funds can be used to purchase body scanners. This highlights the forward-thinking abilities and proactivity for problem solving of the Seabolt Administration.
“The body scanner has certainly made our jobs easier at the detention center. Body scan searches are more dignified than strip searches for both the inmate and the officer, not to mention much more thorough. Officers are able to perform body scan searches in a fraction of the time. It has prevented the smuggling of drugs and other contraband into general population, rendering the facility much safer place for all of us.” - Detention Officer James Amato
Sheriff Seabolt stated that “the body scanner was money well spent, as it will serve the detention center well into the future, even if COVID is eradicated. We also chose this model because it is made in the USA, has a small footprint, emits a limited amount of radiation and is moveable, which is conducive to our limited space at the jail and can be moved during the expansion and remodeling phases at the facility.”
The Intercept is the only American Made Full Body Scanner. Twenty-two Systems now in North Carolina: Randolph, Bladen, Surry, Vance, Yadkin, Iredell, Wilkes, Carteret, Nash, Moore, Forsyth, Onslow, Robeson, Rockingham, New Hanover, Caldwell, Cumberland, Rowan, Catawba and Guilford (2) County Detention Centers.