ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The Oneida County Jail announced that it will be the first correctional facility in New York to institute a new drug detection device.
The device is known as the MX908 and is a tool that can detect trace levels of a broad range of drugs in seconds. According to the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, the device is used by many United States law enforcement agencies for drug testing in the field and to identify trace amounts of illicit drugs smuggled into correctional facilities.
MX908 is the only handheld high-pressure mass spectrometry that can be used for public safety on the market at this time. It is capable of analyzing gas, vapor, solid, liquid, and aerosol samples. The tool can identify most drugs of abuse, including more than 2,000 novel fentanyl analogs and even mixtures of street drugs that contain cutting agents through just a swab.
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said he looks forward to the tool’s effect on the facility and the improvement it will have on public safety.
“This advanced technology gives us the capability to positively identify even residual amounts of drugs in seconds and can be a game-changer in a rapidly changing drug threat environment,” Picente said. “The device supports first responder safety by allowing them to identify drug exposures and take appropriate precautions, improving evidence for drug investigations and enhancing our public health surveillance activities to help understand and combat emerging drug threats in our community, including any illicit drugs entering our correctional facility.”
Oneida County will be the first correctional facility in New York State to use the MX908 device to detect drug contraband and to collect data findings to support its Opioid Task Force Overdose Response Team’s drug trend surveillance program. The county Health Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and CDC Partnerships to Support Data-Driven Responses to Emerging Drug Threats grant allowed the county to purchase the device.
Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol said that the device will not only help protect those in the facility but also the correctional officers that work there.
“Corrections Officers today are facing more dangers than ever and I have an obligation to ensure that we are doing all that we can to protect our officers, Maciol said. “I am grateful to County Executive Picente for once again securing the funding for this state-of-the-art device that will be able to detect dangerous and sometimes fatal contraband coming in through the mail.”