By: Sharon Aron Baron
It’s about to get more difficult for visitors to get into Broward County Public Schools after a new visitor management system is implemented in August.
Used by 32,000 other schools, the Raptor Visitor Management System, will enhance the district’s capabilities to screen visitors, including contractors and volunteers, to quickly identify and deny access to individuals who may present a danger to students, teachers, and staff.
Upon arriving through a school’s single point of entry, visitors are asked to present official identification, such as a driver’s license, for screening.
The Raptor system provides instant screening for sex offender status and custom alerts, such as custody orders. It also compares all known aliases of convicted sex offenders to the name of the individual signing in, delivering a thorough screening process.
Once an entry is approved, the system issues a badge that identifies the visitor, as well as the date and purpose of the visit.
“The use of the Raptor technology will provide an improved process to alert school officials to a threatening presence,” said Brian Katz, Chief of the Safety, Security & Emergency Preparedness Division. “We will enhance our knowledge by screening those who are entering our school buildings.”
The contract award amount for the Raptor is $558,980. On the three-year contract, the projected costs for year two and three are $235,220 and $260,220. The current STAR system cost was approximately $160,000 annually.
Since its inception, Raptor has identified and alerted officials to more than 50,000 instances of sex offenders attempting to enter schools and issued more than 250,000 custody alerts.
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