Police in Edmonton have a new $158,000 body scanner machine to search people entering its Detainee Management Unit (DMU).

The scanner went into use in May and is the first of its kind to be used in a Canadian police facility, Edmonton Police Service said Friday.

“Not only are there many safety benefits for our employees, but those in our custody will be much safer if we can see and secure anything detainees have hidden, not to mention a reduction in the unfortunate, but sometimes necessary invasiveness of a strip search,” said Acting Insp. Jason Altmiks.

“We’re pleased that we have this innovative way of providing an alternative search process for our detainees and our members.”

The new technology has already proved effective, EPS said. Within days of its first use officers were able to locate drugs that were hidden by a detainee "that would have caused an overdose."

The scanner will only be used on adults who are able to stand still for 10 seconds and after an initial medical screening is complete, EPS said.

The machine is located at the service's Northwest Campus across the road from the Edmonton Remand Centre.