Kayla Fleming/For the Times Melissa Romaine (at left) of Romaine Companies spoke to the Macon County Commission about the purchasing of new X-ray equipment for the Macon County Jail.

Kayla Fleming/For the Times

Melissa Romaine (at left) of Romaine Companies spoke to the Macon County Commission about the purchasing of new X-ray equipment for the Macon County Jail.

The Macon County Commission heard from Macon County Sherriff Mark Gammons and Melissa Romaine of Romaine Companies concerning the purchasing of new X-ray equipment for the Macon County Jail at its meeting on Dec. 3.

"We're worried about contraband, weapons, and drugs and all that type stuff coming into the jail," Gammons told the commission. "Allen County has this, and it's cut down (contraband) and the safety. It is actually going to work for our courts, as well as the jail."

Romaine explained to the commission about the product, the Adani Conpass body scanner.

"I know a lot of people are worried about radiation," Romaine said. "This machine is so small on radiation that eating three bananas equals going through the machine one time. Being out in the sun for 15 minutes is going through this machine once."

Romaine also told the commission that the scanner keeps track of how many times each individual inmate go through the machine and how much radiation they've received.

"It will show any drugs or weapons either swallowed or inserted inside the body," Romaine said. "It is not a privacy issue."

Romaine stressed that while inmates were being scanned to check for drugs, weapons, or contraband, their physical privacy would continue to be respected.

"A lot of people want to say that even going through airports is a privacy issue," Romaine said. "We have a high security option on this where it will pixelate certain areas, if need be."

Commissioner Phillip Snow questioned how easy the machine would be to hack and possibly put inmates' information at risk. Romaine explained that all of the information would be internal and not connected for an external network that could put it at risk of being compromised.

"Only the jail administrator and whoever he or she chooses will have access to that information," Romaine said. "Each correctional officer would have their own username and password, as well. That way, everything is secure."

Romaine also added that the officers could be audited to make sure they were not allowing inmates in without scanning them.

After hearing from Romaine, the commission voted to begin the process of accepting bids on the body scanners.

The commission also heard from commissioner Jeff Hughes and Barry King concerning issues with the Macon County Fairgrounds. Hughes told the commission about two heaters in the Sally Wells Building, one of which no longer works, and the other Hughes describes as being "on its last legs."

"This building is used a lot more than any other out there … and I would feel really bad if I got a phone call some night or the weekend with somebody out there … I'd feel bad if they called and said, 'We don't have any heat,'" Hughes said.

Hughes added that the heaters have been in the building since the early 1990s and that there had also been issues with the air condition part of the unit during the summer.

King told the commission that every fair board meeting is spent discussing such topics.

"Instead of discussing what we're going to be bring to the fair and what we should be discussing, it's how to take care of the fair," King said. "All that time people are putting in to make the fair and give the people something to do, all that money is coming in and going right back out."

King said a lot of money the fair makes goes to building maintenance.

"I would like to see the county take the buildings over and let the fair board have it through July and the first week of August," King said. "The county can rent them out or not rent them out. It's getting ridiculous out there, how much money is being spent."

King stressed that the board would, in this instance, pay light and water for the duration of the fair.

The commission voted to send the issue concerning the fairgrounds buildings to the building committee to discuss.

The commission also voted to get quotes concerning replacing the heaters in the Sally Wells Building.