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October 27, 2017 11:18 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Parents want to feel like kids are safe when they’re dropped off at class, but there are many other people that walk in and out of schools over the course of a given day, including volunteers, contractors and vendors.
Raptor Technologies, LLC works on tools to make those hallways safer, and some New Mexico campuses are implementing a visitor management system aimed at doing just that.
With the swipe of an ID and the click of a mouse, the Raptor system runs each school visitor through sex offender databases to reveal their background in a matter of moments.
“We all know the things that can happen and we want to make sure we keep all students and staff safe at all times,” said Cheryl Clark, principal at Ernest Stapleton Elementary School in Rio Rancho.
The school is one of around 80 across New Mexico now using the tool, which allows them to report an emergency immediately if the person has a record. Clark said that for Stapleton Elementary, it is just part of a comprehensive system to keep kids safe, from automated door locks and surveillance cameras to staff keeping watch and reporting suspicious activity.
“The ladies that sit up front are the frontline for this, they’re the ones that make sure they check IDs, scan them and run them through the system,” Clark said.
Officials at Raptor Technologies, LLC say some schools in Los Alamos and Las Vegas – as well as the entire Rio Rancho Public Schools district – have rolled the tool, and they’re working on ways to prepare for more possibilities.
“Everything from fire drills to lockdowns, down to the most complex thing that could happen at a school, which is the need to evacuate the school and do offsite parent reunification,” said Jim Vesterman, CEO of Raptor Technologies, LLC.
So far, Clark said Stapleton hasn’t confirmed any visitors to be sex offenders, but they’re glad to have the tool in place, just in case.