X-ray imaging device

Floyd County police Capt. Ron Hunton (left) talks with officer Baker Harbin about the new HBI-120 X-ray imaging device.

Floyd County police officers on patrol have a new tool in their battle against drugs in the community — X-ray imaging technology.

The imaging device by Viken Detection was available through a grant. The Floyd County Police Department was one of five agencies nationwide to first be awarded a device through VALOR, Viken Assisting Law-enforcement in the Opioid Response.

The VALOR program provides refurbished technology to help law enforcement fight the opioid crisis and more easily detect drugs, cash, weapons and explosives. The device is a safer and more effective method of searching vehicles.

Capt. Ron Hunton authored the grant after it was discovered by Officer Baker Harbin through networking with other drug enforcement officers. Both are now trained in use of the device, which features a monitor for easy viewing from outside any vehicle.

The initial offering of equipment was given to agencies “that have been particularly impacted by the opioid epidemic,” states a media release from Viken Detection.

In the past week, officers without use of the X-ray device have recovered a total of $28,000 cash, a pistol, 2 ounces of marijuana and a large quantity of Ecstasy from traffic stop arrests.

Police Chief Mark Wallace said that’s a small example of what is likely passing through the community every day.

“Drug traffickers are growing more innovative in their ability to conceal contraband so we have to be more diligent in our work,” Wallace said.

“Our detectives have already been working more to investigate opioid related deaths and we’re excited to have a tool for patrol to keep drugs out of the hands of potential victims.”

Viken’s handheld X-ray imaging platform is used all over the world for drug interdiction and other security missions, including the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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