Florida Capitol Receives New Mail Scanning System

A mail screening center in Tallahassee was just named tops in the nation by the U.S. Postal Service, and Tuesday, it showed off one big reason why.

Over 160,000 letters and packages bound for the Florida capitol come through the mail center every month to make sure nothing suspicious winds up on the governor's desk.

"We've had improvised explosive devices come through here that we've been able to screen, identify, detect and separate out so they did not go to the agency they were addressed to. We've had 17 of those in the last 12 months."

Florida now screens its capitol and supreme court-bound mail at a secret location miles away so no one gets hurt. And no one has to be evacuated in the event of trouble.

A quarter-million dollar scanner is a new addition to the screening arsenal, courtesy of homeland security. It's one of only three like it in the country. It can screen and kick out weapons, mail bombs, and even radio-active materials.

"It's primarily used to detect anything harmful in terms of radiation or nuclear material sent through the mail. Of course, IDDs are something we've heard a lot about since the war in Iraq."

Who's to say whether the age of anthrax or dirty bombs is over? Security experts say likely not. But governors and justices in Florida can rest easier knowing there is one of these on duty.

The only other "SAIC" scanners are in use in Washington D.C. asked why Florida was given this one free? The mail center director said "they like us."