County considering jail body scanner

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Sheriff’s Office is considering the purchase of a body scanner for the county jail to find drugs on inmates before they overdose in jail.

Sheriff Dave Duchak proposed the purchase to the commissioners at their meeting Wednesday. The suggestion is in response to recent overdoses in the jail as a result of contraband coming in with inmates.

Duchak said there have been three overdoses in the jail in the last few years, including one overdose death.

Inmates overdosing on drugs they’ve concealed and brought into the jail is a trend Duchak said he doesn’t “see decreasing any time soon.”

In March, one female inmate was charged with a third degree felony after concealing fentanyl and a syringe inside her body cavity and causing another inmate to overdose at the downtown jail.

In April, another woman overdosed on heroin she brought into the jail hidden in the waist band of her clothing. She was revived with Narcan at the jail.

Both women were charged with felony conveyance of illegal substances into the facility. Duchak said those who bring illegal substances into the jail could face other charges including drug possession, trafficking, and if another inmate were to die, involuntary manslaughter.

“It’s something we’ve got to look into, no doubt about it,” Commissioner Jack Evans said of the proposed body scanner.

The Sheriff’s Office has researched models of body scanners and is considering one from Soter at a cost of $118,750. The unit may be available through state term pricing, Duchak said. Funding is available in the Sheriff’s Office budget, Duchak added.

The unit would be located in the downtown jail. No additional staffing would be needed and there is little training needed to use the machine, Duchak said.

Several other area jails have purchased or are considering buying body scanners, including Greene, Shelby and Montgomery Counties, Duchak said.

“This is unfortunately a common occurrence in jail systems through Ohio. I think it’s a needed piece of equipment,” Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien said.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at