September 24, 2015 1:54 PM EDT

A sheriff in Maine apologized Thursday for making female visitors remove their bras before entering a Portland jail.

Sheriff Kevin Joyce said asking the women to remove their underwire bras had to do with officers misinterpreting a metal detector policy, the Portland Press Herald reports, after some women’s undergarments tripped the metal detectors.

“In all honesty, when I signed this policy, the issue of underwire bras never crossed my mind,” he admitted.

He apologized to two female attorneys by name who had refused to remove their bras and brought attention to the practice.

“It was never my intention nor that of the officers involved to offend any of our visitors or embarrass them in any way,” he said. “While our goal has always been to keep our jail safe and secure as possible, I want to do so in a manner that fairly balances those considerations with those of the general public and in particular those of our professional visitors.”

Joyce said going forward, no one else will be required to remove their bra before entering the jail.

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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