The U.S. government recently sponsored an Opioid Detection Challenge, seeking technologies to assist in detecting opioids being sent through the mail. The grand prize winner of stage one of the challenge was Integrated Defense & Security Solutions (IDSS), a small business member of the Border Security Technology Consortium (BSTC), for its Scanner and Algorithms for Automatic Opioid Detection technology.
In April 2021, the International Mail Facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) unveiled a renovation that included these IDSS machines, which increase the efficiency of inspections to maintain a more secure mailing system. The International Mail Facility processes more than half of all the incoming international mail into the U.S., which equates to roughly one million international letters/packages/parcels, etc. each day.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 70% of the nearly 71,000 drug overdose deaths in 2019 involved an opioid. Many of these opioids are sent through the mail, easily packed and hidden in small parcels. In 2017, Congress passed the STOP Act to help the USPS and CBP stop illicit substances from entering the U.S. through international mail packages.
“I am immensely proud to cut this ribbon and step into a new era of narcotics detection and border security,” said Mr. Troy Miller, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner, in a press release. “This redesigned space and the new IDSS machines will be critical in our effort to identify and disrupt the transnational criminal organizations who ship these deadly drugs through our international mail system. I am pleased by the outstanding work that happens in this building day in and day out, from countless narcotic seizures to keeping up with the explosive growth of e-commerce before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to seeing what will develop with this new technology.”
See how IDSS can help in the detection of opioids in the video below. The portion about IDSS starts at the 1:00 minute mark.
The BSTC supports the CBP and other potential customers within DHS in providing collaborative R&D and rapid prototyping/piloting capabilities germane to the border security domain. Comprised of over 100 innovative member organizations, the BSTC provides a “one stop” source for capabilities across the border security technology spectrum, including surveillance and monitoring; identification and assessment; targeting and intelligence; communications and information management; apprehension/detention/seizure/removal; and other border security-related capabilities.