Walworth County Courthouse gets new metal detector
Officials recently installed the security device to replace the previous metal detector that was more than 10 years old.
The previous detector was so old that the company that made it had closed its doors and it was nearly impossible to get technical support, said John Miller, Walworth County assistant superintendent of facilities.
“We’ve had some troubles with them before, where they didn’t operate correctly and there wasn’t anybody available who could operate on something that old,” Miller said.
The new detector is the same model used by the Transportation Security Administration in airports around the nation. European and Japanese airports also use the PD 6500i detector, according to Garrett Metal Detectors.
The device detects smaller objects such as lightweight cell phones and smaller keys, neither of which the previous device consistently picked up. It also includes a two-dimensional lighting system that notifies the security officer of the approximate location of the metal object on a person’s body.
“Rather than just saying, ‘Yes somebody has a metal object,’ it says, ‘It’s near the right ankle or the left shoulder,”’ Miller said. “It helps security screeners, and then they can use a pat-down or a hand metal detector.”
Miller said a similar metal detector was installed at the jail earlier this year.
“It’s designed along with all the court security features to establish a safer environment for judicial operations of which the sheriff’s office is responsible,” Undersheriff Kurt Picknell said.
There are several levels of accuracy, Miller said. Security officers have pre-set options to screen metal objects appropriate for the jail and the courthouse.
The walk-through metal detector cost $3,700, said Nick Cramer, a buyer at the Walworth County Purchasing Division of the Public Works Department. The item was bought under the Department of Public Works’ 2009 budget.