Latest Coverage of Viken's VALOR Program
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office reported at least 15 fatal drug overdoses this year. Now the department is one of five across the country with new crime fighting technology geared towards battling the opioid epidemic.
It’s a device from Viken Detection, a Massachusetts based company. Jim Ryan is the CEO and said they noticed how challenging it can be for law enforcement to safely search a vehicle for drugs or contraband. He told News 2 this device will make it easier.
“It’s a simple point and shoot device that I have in my hand here. It’s an eight pound instrument an officer can run along any part of the vehicle, press the button and an image appears on the screen to show what’s behind it. So typically, if there’s nothing in there, you’ll see a black screen. But when there are organics there– drugs, cash, explosives, this machine will pick up that anomaly in the vehicle. It will alert the officer there is something there that shouldn’t be there.”
Ryan said the company started a Valor program to assist law enforcement fight the opioid crisis.
“We got a lot of applications. We started out with five law enforcement departments. We went through a process with a third party to go through applications. We picked our first five and as it goes, we will now continue to do it and try to help with this epidemic across the country.”