Northumberland County purchases full-body scanner for jail

by | Nov 10, 2020 | Press | 0 comments

SUNBURY — Northumberland County Jail Warden Bruce Kovach reported a $149,000 Intercept full-body scanner purchased by the county for the jail was installed last week.

During a 15-minute prison board meeting Wednesday, Kovach said the scanner, which is similar to those used at airports, will be able to detect any contraband or other illegal materials. He said the equipment will allow jail staff and inmates to avoid physical contact with each other during searches, which will be very helpful during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Kovach said the sanitary scanner was purchased from Tek 84 with COVID-19 funding the county received through the federal CARES Act.

He said staff members will be trained to operate the scanner next week.

“The scanner will be a real asset to the jail on a daily basis,” Kovach said.

Commissioner Chairman Sam Schiccatano said the money spent on the scanner is part of the $8.2 million the county received in COVID-19 funding to be used for multiple purposes including broadband, county facilities, departments and programs, municipalities, non-profit organizations and small businesses.

Schiccatano said about half of the COVID-19 funding has been committed to different projects thus far.

Kovach said the jail population as of Tuesday was 210, including 168 males and 42 females.

He said the jail is housing 12 inmates from Union County, five from Snyder County, 14 from Schuylkill County and one from Montour County.

The warden said $51,709.02 in revenue was generated in October by housing out-of-county inmates.

Prison board members in attendance were President Judge Charles H. Saylor, who serves as chairman; Commissioners Schiccatano and Joseph Klebon, District Attorney Tony Matulewicz, Controller Chris Grayson and Sheriff Robert Wolfe, who participated by teleconference. Commissioner Kym Best was absent.

Wolfe, whose office was forced to shut down Monday due to a deputy sheriff testing positive for COVID-19, said his office resumed normal operations Wednesday. He said only the employee who tested positive for COVID-19 is unable to work at this time.