CCS upgrades security check-in

Published 11:47 am Thursday, February 6, 2020

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County Schools has implemented a new check in system for visitors as a part of the continuous plan to increase school safety.

While the school system has had an electronic system in place for visitors to check in for several years, issues with the system and the desire to do more prompted an upgrade.

The new Raptor system will scan visitors’ identification.

Mickey Hardwick, CCS Safe Schools coordinator, said it works with United States driver’s license as well as those from other countries.

Each school now has the new system.

A major component that differs with the new system is how it gives information on registered sex offenders trying to enter at the school.

“The older system, it didn’t give you a photo, it just gave you a name and a birthdate, so you may have two individuals with the same name and birthdate, but they don’t look alike,” Hardwick said.

With the new system, if the name of a sex offender comes up, there is a photo so the school employee checking the visitor in can compare to see if the person is the sex offender the system thought it was. Hardwick said this also helps the school system determine if a confirmed registered sex offender is listed as having a student at the school or not.

If the individual does have a student at the school, the person is allowed in and protocol is followed to alert staff, Hardwick said.

“If he is not on the list, we are not going to let him in,” Hardwick said.

The Raptor system also incorporates ways to notify local law enforcement if someone is at the school that should not be.

The system can also send direct messages to the School Resource Officer and the principal in a variety of situations.

Background checks on volunteers will be able to be completed electronically and be approved in a timelier manner with the new system. Hardwick said there will be a link on the Chilton County School website where potential volunteers can fill out the form. Once submitted, it can be reviewed and possibly approved in as few as eight hours.

While there was a cost for the equipment, the yearly subscription service will be $200 less per school to operate.

The system was purchased with the Safe Schools budget.

The only information stored by the system is a visitor’s name and birthdate.

Raptor will also integrate with the system that the schools are switching to for student data.