A $150,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice will fund a new full-body scanner for the Polk County Jail, which will detect any contraband or weapons on an individual entering the jail. 

Polk County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Don Burrows said he applied for the grant through a COVID-19 program. “It will prevent us from constantly having to pat someone down,” he said.

Burrows explained individuals will walk through the machine, be scanned, and it will detect contraband, weapons, as well as their temperature. 

The machine will come from a company called Tek84. Burrows said it was chosen because it is portable and there are no electrical upgrades that need to take place to use it. Burrows said, “They are the most popular one in the State of Wisconsin.”

Bids were received from a total of three firms. Issues with the other two firms included upgrades that would have been needed electrically, increasing the cost of the project and non-stationary equipment. The Sheriff’s Department felt Tek84 provided the options for which they were most looking.

“The vendor we chose for this has a machine that is portable. We can get it through doorways and that is what we like about it. If we have a high-profile case (in the courthouse) where we want to use it, there is a building security aspect to it. Burrows said the vendor seems to be the most used company in the area.

Polk County’s General Government Committee accepted the grant. Now the Polk County Sheriff’s Department can begin drafting a policy concerning the requirements and uses of the new technology. Burrows said they wanted to wait until the scanner was received before coming up with a specific policy.

Polk County will purchase the machine from money in the unassigned general fund, which will be later reimbursed by the grant.

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