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Badge and Bar: Hall courthouse gets high-tech scanner
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Hall County Deputy Michael Crook runs the old scanner. The newer technology allows for a clearer picture as well as image storage. - photo by NAT GURLEY

The Hall County Courthouse now boasts a faster, more high-tech scanner at its public entrance.

Capt. Chris Matthews, commander of the Court Services Division for the sheriff’s office, said the scanner, which was installed Wednesday, brings the department up to speed with technology of the decade.

“The machines that we had were between 14 and 16 years old, so we just needed to upgrade,” he said. “It’s more high-tech; it scans organic and inorganic materials; it has a very clear screen; we can save our images where we couldn’t save our images in the past ... if we need to.”

The company that manufactured the scanner, Smiths Detection, is based in Maryland and has a Gwinnett County representative available for technical support.

“We went to other courthouses and looked at what they use, what they are doing with customer service: Do their machines have to repaired? Does it take 24 days or 24 hours?” he said.

The federal courthouse across the street also uses the same machine, Matthews said, which came at a price tag of $34,000 and includes a five-year warranty.

“The technology is taking leaps and bounds, and actually they’re cheaper than they were 14 or 16 years ago,” he said.

The newest machine will scan the roughly 1,000 people who are checked coming into the courtroom on an average day. The older of the two machines at the front entrance will remain in use for court employees, and the third machine will remain on hand as a backup.

Maybe the most welcome news for fast-paced folks is the technology’s efficiency.

“It will make the flow a little bit better. It’s a quicker machine,” Matthews said.

Emma Witman covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:


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