Schools adding background check security system

Raptor visitor id scanner in use at school front desk

ELDRIDGE, Iowa  —  The Clinton School District is getting a school security system that preforms background checks on every visitor that enters the building. Clinton School District Superintendent Gary DeLacy says he got the idea from North Scott High School in Eldridge, Iowa. North Scott has had the technology for two years.

“It gives you an opportunity if somebody tries to come into the building that should not be around the school,” North Scott Superintendent Joe Stutting said. “We are able to catch them and not have an unfortunate situation take place.”

“I think it’s safe for our kids,” North Scott attendant secretary Jodi Bemrich said. “Our kids feel safe when they see someone with a sticker, because they know that they have checked in.”

Bemrich runs the system everyday. All visitors at North Scott High School have to check in at the front desk with Bemrich and provide identification. The background check security system, or Raptor, scans an ID and checks for outstanding charges. It also scans the sex offender registry.

“If it red flags, I don`t really have to do anything,” Bemrich said. “It immediately sends out a text to the police and the administrators and they come to the front.”

North Scott has only had one red flag alert, that Bemrich said was a mistake. Once the system has scanned a visitor’s ID one time, they permanently stay in the system. Each visitor must wear a sticker from the system. The stickers notify that they have been scanned and cleared.

“Safety is a concern,” Stutting said. “You learn things when they happen in the nation and of course you learn things when they happen right in your own district.”

North Scott also has cameras installed around the school building.

DeLacy says he hopes to have Raptor technology in Clinton schools by January 2019.

Other schools in the area with the Raptor system include Davenport, Bettendorf, and Moline.

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