The foundation of school safety is making sure everyone is protected. While safety conversations—for obvious reasons—tend to focus on students and staff, it’s important that schools also have reliable processes for safeguarding the other group of people on campus: visitors, guardians, volunteers, contractors, and other guests.
Using an integrated visitor and emergency management software system is essential to knowing specifically who is on campus, where they are located, and what their conditions are during an emergency. David Rogers, CMO of Raptor Technologies, spoke with Campus Safety Magazine about how schools can leverage these systems for better, smarter emergency response and recovery.
Below is a summary of the conversation. Watch the full interview above.
Robin Hattersley [RH]: Why should districts think of visitor management systems as a critical element of their access control and lockdown policies and procedures?
David Rogers [DR]: There is the physical part of access control, like trying to funnel visitors through a single point of entry. When we think about the technology side, we’re trying to control who is coming into your building.
Visitor management systems provide a level of control that you might not have if you’re trying to capture visitor information on a sheet of paper. You don’t know anything about the person coming in, like if they have custodial restrictions or are a registered sex offender. With a visitor management system, you can better understand and track who is coming into the building.
RH: In Campus Safety’s recent survey, 65% of K-12 respondents stated lack of confidence in their ability to account for visitors, contractors, and others in their building during a lockdown. How can schools have better visibility of all those in their buildings?
DR: That statistic is not surprising because many schools still rely on outdated, handwritten visitor logs that are not integrated into an emergency management software. When you have an incident commander and first responders who need to know exactly who is in the building, an integrated visitor and emergency management system can give them a clear picture of who the staff, students, visitors, and contractors are on campus. Not only is this data critical for emergency response, but it also helps in recovery as you complete the reunification process.
RH: What are some trends you’re seeing with how schools are integrating visitor management with physical security at the front door?
DR: More schools are adopting secure vestibules where they funnel visitors through a single door and require them to use a kiosk to scan their ID and screen their information before they even get access to the front office.
Once they are cleared, they are buzzed into the office and receive a badge. This process adds another layer of safety and security to the school’s overall visitor management and access control policies.
Be Prepared for Any Emergency
Raptor, partnered with over 35,000 K-12 U.S. schools, provides integrated visitor, volunteer, and emergency management software that enables schools to screen visitors, track volunteers, and prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies.
Visit www.raptortech.com to see how Raptor can help you build and maintain a safer school. For more best practices and to stay updated on the latest school safety news, subscribe to Raptor’s podcast, School Safety Today.