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Beltrami County Jail to begin using body scanning equipment to detect contraband and illicit drugs


December 22, 2020

BEMIDJI, BELTRAMI COUNTY, MN: The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office is excited to announce that construction and installation has been completed on our newly acquired Soter RS Security Scanner and we are patiently awaiting a variance from the Minnesota Department of Health to begin using this lifesaving piece of equipment.

The Soter Security Scanner is a device that will scan the offender prior to them entering the secure area of jail and will indicate to the corrections officer if there is contraband hidden on or inside the offender. The Sheriff’s Office sought funding for this device when we began seeing a significant rise in contraband entering the jail facility that was not being found through traditional searching. That trend continued into 2019, but most alarming was the need for the use of Narcan (Naloxone) on eleven (11) offenders that overdosed. In eight (8) of those incidents, the overdoses occurred long after the offenders initial entry.

The Beltrami County Jail had 84 other types’ incidents of contraband in 2019 that made it past our initial pat-down and searches. Beltrami County Jail’s top priority is inmate and officer safety. Jail contraband consists of pills, illicit drugs, lighters, knives, and syringes.

This system is the latest and safest technology when it comes to radiation dosage and is measured in sievert (μSv) unit(s) of radiation. The SOTER RS machine can range from low density of 0.05 μSv to high density of 2.0 μSv.

In comparison:

•A one (1) hour commercial flight will vary from 1 to 10 μSv depending on the altitude and position of the sun

•One (1) chest X-ray will give you 10.00 μSv

•Daily natural radiation is .04 μSv

•Eating one (1) banana gives you 0.01 μSv

This system works on the ANSI 43.17 “As Low as Reasonably Achievable” principle. The detection capacity for the SOTER RS system is a full body range, but it can detect something that is 0.001568” thick (or an edge on a piece of paper).

For more information about the SOTER RS scanning system please visit

-Capt. Calandra Allen

Beltrami County Jail Administrator


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