Many times, the first thing the average person thinks about when narcotics detection comes up is dogs. This is for good reason, as it is true that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and law enforcement use canines for detecting all kinds of contraband, and most movies portray dogs as the primary method of detecting drugs and other illegal substances. These illegal drugs include heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, marijuana, and ecstasy, but can also include firearms, alcoholic beverages, and even fireworks. However, when the agency’s canine is not available, another method for narcotics detection or to find contraband is needed.
Campbell/Harris Security Equipment Company (CSECO) are the creators of devices to find contraband since the middle of the 1980s. Though not an improvement for or an equivalent to the K-9 Unit, the CSECO narcotics detection devices are great when used in conjunction with a K-9 unit or if a K-9 is unavailable for use to find contraband.
The original detector for contraband detection made by CSECO was entitled Buster K910B and is a density meter. This device was created with thought of the final consumer. As a matter of fact, many CBP agents collaborated with the founder of CSECO (Patrick J. Campbell) in order to imagine and create the perfect device to notify the agents quickly about abnormalities that could possibly suggest the presence of different contraband. The Buster device utilizes back-scatter technology in order to locate the abnormalities.
Low-intensity gamma radiation, that is harmless to people and dogs in its proximity, takes a measurement of the density of the target of the scan. If the reading is abnormal, it reads too little or too much, the device makes it known. For the majority of the readings, an abnormality means contraband may be present. Upon detection of the abnormality, the Buster device alerts the user via an auditory alarm or a visual warning on the screen.
The suspected object then would be taken to another inspection. This inspection consists of an agent doing a lengthy, thorough search with the Buster K910 and possibly with the CSECO Perfect Vision V20 Videoscope Inspection System, which allows the inspection of parts of the object, or vehicle, that normally would be inaccessible without dismantling the object. For example, one could use the Perfect Visions V20 Videoscope, which is made of fiber optic strands which are in a tungsten matrix as a protection from gas and fuel, and can be inserted into a fuel tank. Once in the fuel tank, the Perfect Vision V20 Videoscope can detect anything that does not belong in the fuel tank, The Perfect Vision V20 Videoscope is the only videoscope that has been certified safe for use in these types of circumstances by the Underwriters Laboratory.
While this technology is unlikely to ever be a complete replacement for canine units, they fill in nicely when necessary, and make narcotics detection much simpler than visual examination alone.