Ballad Health donates more than $230,000 to Sullivan Co. Sheriff’s Office for new full-body scanner

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office received a donation from Ballad Health to improve safety and security at the Sullivan County Main Jail Facility.

According to a release from Ballad Health, the Sullivan County Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution on January 16 to accept a donation of $238,175 in funds and equipment from Ballad Health to the sheriff’s office.

The donation will be used to install a full-body scanner at the Sullivan County Main Jail Facility, and the equipment will detect contraband and possible risks before they enter the facility.

“Joining forces with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office in this effort not only protects inmates, law enforcement officers and jail visitors, but it also helps curtail the far-reaching effects of drug use and illegal activity and the impact they have on our health,” said Eric Deaton, the health system’s chief operating officer.

The scanner detects metal, plastic and organic and inorganic objects, which means hidden needles, weapons, cell phones or swallowed drugs will be found.

The scanner takes about ten seconds to generate an X-ray image that shows officials any contraband.

“I am extremely appreciative of Ballad Health for the body scanner they purchased for the Sullivan County Jail,” said Jeff Cassidy, Sullivan County Sheriff. “This donation will be extremely helpful in identifying contraband and dangerous drugs in possession of those entering the jail, which will greatly increase the safety of the inmates and employees.”

The funds will also aid in modifying the back entrance of the facility to make room for the scanner.

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