Tustin police get new body temp scanners for COVID-19 safety


Thanks to technology that might only be fully appreciated during a pandemic, life at the Tustin Police Department has gotten a bit easier.

About a month ago, a scanning device was installed at each of the police headquarters’ two employee entrances. The devices automatically detect the internal body temperature of each entrant, to make sure the person has a temperature within the acceptable range that’s considered safe under COVID-19 safety protocols.

Before, this process had been done by staff or, for a time, nurses. Now, it’s done just as quickly and effectively with machines.

As a bonus, the devices also have facial recognition software installed. The software has a database of employee faces, and logs who goes into the building and at what time.

Tustin Police Officer Charles Carter demonstrates how an officer takes his own temperature using a new device placed at the entrance of the station to help screen for the COVID-19 virus. The device also performs a facial recognition scan, comparing it to a facial database, and records when an officer arrives or leaves.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

If the devices sense something afoot — particularly a high body temperature, which could be an indication that the person is infected with COVID-19 — an alarm is set off.

“It’s a lot safer,” Sgt. Matt Nunley said of the changes. “There is less contact, no touch. It’s a great asset for us.”

The Tustin Police Foundation paid about $5,100 for the devices.

Wendi Forrest, executive director of the Tustin Police Foundation, said her organization was proud to help.

“Things like these are incredibly helpful for the department so they have extra manpower to put somewhere else, rather than having someone sit at the door doing screenings,” Forrest said. “I think that’s huge for them.”

The two scanners have been so successful that Tustin is considering installing a third one, possibly inside the public lobby when it re-opens. That device may also ask visitors to fill out a questionnaire.