Virginia Beach Jail takes action to combat contraband problem with new body scanner

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach Jail officials said it will be harder to sneak contraband into their facility after they put in a new full body security screening system.

News 3 got an exclusive look at the new body scanner.

“This is an added layer of protection," said Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Lisa Clark, who worked to get the new security device put into the jail.

It’s called the ADANI ConPass Dual View Body Scanner.

They said it conducts x-ray scans of all inmates coming into the jail by using a small amount of radiation.

“The purpose of this machine is not only to keep staff safe, but it’s to keep the entire facility safe,” said Lieutenant Clark.

Jail officials said between 2014 and 2017, there was a 300% increase in contraband coming into the jail, which included weapons, illegal drugs, cellphones, lighters and other items.

It is unclear why there was an increase, but officials said it was a major concern, which is why they said they decided to take action and get the body scanner.

They said it cost $200,000 and was funded by the Virginia Beach Public Safety Equipment Replacement Project.

It’s similar to what you experience at the airport when going through security, and it takes about seven seconds.

If a person is caught trying to sneak contraband into the jail, they can be charged with a felony.

They say every year they admit more than 20,000 inmates into the Virginia Beach Jail, taking in about 1,500 per month.

“We are always looking for ways to make the Virginia Beach Correctional Center safer for inmates and the deputies,” said Sheriff Ken Stolle. “Contraband is one of the biggest problems we face, a problem that’s been made all the worse by the opioid epidemic. The body scanner we obtained this year is vital to combat that problem and keep unsafe items from coming into the jail.”

They have a warning for those interested in sneaking in contraband into the jail.

“We are going to catch it. This thing is outstanding. Our operators have been trained and they know what they’re looking for. They’re going to be caught,” said Lieutenant Clark.