PITTSBURGH - We know that the safety of your kids at school is a top priority, so we wanted to see what changes have been made.
We first told you last fall about Raptor, a high-tech visitor identification and tracking system that protects your kids from registered sex offenders.
Target 11 investigator Rick Earle has learned that even more districts are adding this tool to their arsenal .
At Shaler Area Elementary School, there are the normal security systems, surveillance cameras, an intercom and a locking system. But now Channel 11 has leaned that the district has a brand new device designed to protect kids. It’s called Raptor.
“By having the raptor system in place we add an additional level of security here in the building, “ said Shaler Elementary School Principal Ian Miller.
Just to give you an idea of how the Raptor system works, Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle went through the system.
Earle started outside the school, and pressed the intercom system button to contact a secretary inside the school building. The secretary then let Earle through the first set of locked doors, but he wasn’t allowed through the second set of locked doors until he surrendered his government-issued photo identification.
Earle’s driver’s license was then scanned into a computer system and then his name and driver’s license number was compared to registered sex offender data bases from across the country.
Once the system cleared Earle, the secretary printed a photo ID badge for Earle to wear during his visit.
The district tell Target 11 if there is a match, administrators are then called in and they will ultimately determine if the person is allowed access to the building. Administrators say that if the person has a legitimate purpose to be at the school, they might be subject to an escort.
“They are still going to be welcomed into the building but there will some additional levels of security we are going to have to go through, which could include myself being involved or security as well,” said Miller.
Target 11 discovered that more than 10,000 schools nationwide use Raptor, including Upper St. Clair, Brentwood and Mt. Pleasant.
The system cost the Shaler district nearly $16,000 and after two years there is an annual subscription fee.
Earle asked administrators if the system is worth the cost?
“I think absolutely when it comes to school safety that's first and foremost are largest responsibility,” said Shaler Area Director of Curriculum and Technology Bryan O’Black.
The Raptor system has now been installed in all eight of the school buildings in the Shaler Area district and they plan to start using it on the first day of classes.
Earle says it’s a simple process that only takes a few minutes, and he says once your ID is in the system, you don’t need to show it anymore.