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Pueblo County Jail could get a new body scanner to help reduce contraband

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COLORADO -

Overcrowding in the Pueblo County Jail is giving rise to contraband cases with more dangerous drugs and even weapons making their way inside.

Now,  a new piece of technology could make the jail safer and save you money, too.

It's a body scanner able to spot contraband before it enters the jail.

 "The introduction of contraband and firearms inside a secured facility such as our county jail is a real danger. It's a danger to staff, it's a danger to inmates, it's a danger to the public," Detention Bureau Chief Jeff Teschner.

Following violent attacks between inmates like this one we reported on last year, Pueblo County Jail officials discovered jail overcrowding has doubled the amount of contraband in the past three years.

Now they're asking county commissioners for help funding a new body scanner, like the one used in the El Paso County Jail, which detects contraband on the spot.

"The attacks that we've had just this year alone and last year, we want to take every precautionary measure that we can to partner with the sheriff's office to help keep people safe," said Pueblo County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz.

The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office used its budget to cover two-thirds of the cost.

But now they're asking for $63,000 to cover the rest.

The money would go toward training and installation and it could end up saving taxpayers money.

"Certainly be a return to using this not just in terms of  safety for our deputies working in the jail every day but also in terms of what we're spending at some of the local hospitals," added Ortiz.

Currently, taxpayers pay more than two thousand dollars every time an inmate has to get an x-ray at a hospital.

Now, the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office is waiting for the green light to get this machine and better protect those inside.

"This type of technology could significantly assist us."

The Board of  Pueblo County Commissioners may use excise tax funds from marijuana revenue to help fund this project.

They'll know for sure if they'll be able to within next couple of weeks.

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