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Knowing who is at the door

Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at 4:08 pm

School safety is always a paramount concern for all involved. At last week’s Westmoreland County School Board meeting, Deputy Superintendent Rice showed to what lengths the school system was set to go when she announced the use of a visitor ID system from Raptor Technologies that is due to be set up around the end of the month as part of an effort to beef up security measures in the county’s schools.

According to Rice, the system itself is quite user-friendly. When someone comes into the front office, they hand in an ID card, which is then passed through a scanner that checks a sex offender registry and looks for any custodial issues between parents. If the ID doesn’t check out, then the system can send an automatic email or text to whomever the school wants, such as administration or law enforcement.

If it does check out, then it prints a new ID badge for the person to wear at all times during their visit. Any time someone visits, they repeat the process, though subsequent visits are much quicker since an ID does not have to be printed out after the first visit. Furthermore, the system also keeps tracks of volunteers within the building, allowing you to log who the volunteers are, as well as how much time they have spent volunteering. Of course, if the visitor does not have their ID, they will be turned away from the building.

Started back in 2002, Raptor Technologies specializes in school security technology, servicing over 25,000 schools over the years. According to their website, since that time, their technology has identified and alerted officials to over 50,000 sex offenders attempting to enter the schools where they were installed, as well as more than 250,000 custody alerts.