The Delaware City Police Department recently received approval to begin using a new drug screening device in conjunction with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
The device, called MX908, is a hand-held mass spectrometer used to analyze suspicious drugs that law enforcement says will streamline the process of pursuing a drug case as it yields results faster than methods. traditional.
“(The MX908) increases results,” said Delaware City Police Captain Adam Moore. “In the past, officers would get a presumptive test with a field test kit. The suspected substance was then transported to the laboratory (of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation) in London, Ohio, and the wait for test results began. Now, with the MX908, testing is local (Marion) and results can be returned within minutes, allowing legal proceedings to move forward.
The Delaware City Council authorized the police department to use the device at its Monday meeting, and Police Chief Bruce Pijanowski said Delaware County (along with Marion County and Union County ) was one of three areas in the state with “worker” drug task forces with a large drug caseload that were selected by the AG’s office to pilot the devices.
Pijanowski said on Monday that the device has several advantages.
“It allows agencies to do testing much faster,” Pijanowski told the board. “Now, evidence is processed quickly, which in turn allows people quick access to court proceedings, which gets them quickly to court-mandated processing.”
Pijanowski added that the device also needs a smaller sample size than traditional drug tests to work, which means officers have to handle fewer potentially dangerous substances. He said the police department was “really happy to be involved” in testing the device.
Moore said the device requires special training from the State of Ohio and that the police have trained two of their members in the use of the machine: an officer and the evidence technician from the Department of police.
The police department will test the device for over a year.
“Our agreement with the Ohio Attorney General’s office to use the machine runs through June 2023,” Moore said.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office said it was aware of the devices, but deputies are not involved in the pilot program.
“We are not currently testing them in the field, but we are very familiar with the GA initiative and it is a great idea,” said DCSO captain Kevin Savage. “This will help in the speed of obtaining the results of the drugs. Our evidence technicians have been trained in the use of the device. We appreciate this partnership with the state and look forward to taking full advantage of this new technology.
Pictured is an MX908 device, which is a handheld mass spectrometer used to analyze suspect drugs.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.