Van-mounted body scanners coming to a street near you?

Posted on August 26th, 2010 Dan

US law enforcement agencies are among the customers of a Massachusetts-based company that is selling full-body scanners to be mounted inside vans and used on streets, says a report from Forbes.

American Science & Engineering, based in Billerica, Mass., told Forbes blogger Andy Greenberg that it has sold more than 500 “Z Backscatter Vans,” mobile x-ray scanning units that can be used to detect bombs, contraband and smuggled people inside nearby cars.

The company says its largest customer by far is the US military, which has purchased the machines to search for car bombs and other threats in war zones. But AS&E’s vice president of marketing, Joe Reiss, said US law enforcement agencies have also bought the machines “to search for vehicle-based bombs in the US,” Greenberg reports.

AS&E has not revealed the names of its US law enforcement customers, or how many of the machines they bought. But Reiss describes the van-mounted scanning system as “the largest selling cargo and vehicle inspection system ever.”

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