This segment originally appeared on WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side. To view the original article, click here.
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pitt County Schools are using a new check-in system called Raptor that automatically scans for sex offenders.
When a visitor tries to gain access to a school, they are now prompted to utilize the computer check-in system, which requires you to scan your photo ID. Within seconds, that scan searches sex offender databases to ensure the person isn’t on there.
“This system allows us to have those identities identified and therefore we know when those people are on our campuses,” said Jeff Hudson, Pitt County School’s security specialist.
Hudson said their old system simply required visitors to show an ID to school staff. The change to Raptor came after the district underwent a security study to find ways to better protect students.
“When you drop your kid off here at school, our parents feel that there’s a need for us to be secure and safe and look after their kid, so at all cost, it’s our responsibility,” he said.
Parents, like Jennifer Harris, like the move.
“I want to know what’s going on in the world,” Harris said. “If there are sex offenders in the school, I want to know about it.”
Pitt County joins Rowan-Salisbury Schools as the only districts in North Carolina to implement Raptor in all of their schools.
Hudson said so far, Raptor has already identified, and stopped, five sex offenders from trying to access Pitt County Schools this school year.
On top of scanning for sex offenders, schools can also attach personal warnings for specific parents or visitors in the cases of things like custody battles and previous bad behavior. In those cases, the school staff were be alerted each time that person scanned their ID to check-in.
In 2016, Raptor was used in 17,000 schools nationwide and has flagged more than 50,000 registered sex offenders. On average, Raptor flags over 30 sex offenders in schools across the country each day.