The battle against drug traffickers is an ever-evolving challenge
Jim Ryan is CEO of Viken Detection a private Massachusetts-based company that designs and manufactures weapons, chemical and narcotics screening solutions to both government and private industry
The battle against drug traffickers is an ever-evolving challenge that requires technological innovation and adaptation. As cartels continue to exploit hard-to-inspect concealment areas to traffic illicit drugs across the southern border, it becomes evident that legacy top-down passenger vehicle X-ray scanning systems are no longer effective. To stay ahead of these criminals, it is imperative that our government embrace cutting-edge detection technology, such as under-vehicle X-ray scanning systems that use X-ray backscatter and transmission technology to scan the underside of a passenger vehicle.
According to an analysis of U.S. government data, fentanyl overdoses have surged to the leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 45. Between 2020 and 2021, nearly 79,000 people between 18 and 45 years old died of fentanyl overdoses. That’s more than COVID-19, motor vehicle accidents, cancer and suicide combined in 2020.
Traditionally, border security measures have relied on top-down X-ray systems that offer a limited view of passenger vehicles passing through border checkpoints. However, this paradigm needs to literally be turned upside down in order to allow border agents to comprehensively inspect the entire vehicle – from the underside. Under-vehicle X-ray enables fast and reliable comprehensive inspections that require less time and effort, results in fewer damaged vehicles and lessens the chances of exposure to dangerous toxins, such as fentanyl, by an inspection officer.