New technology scans IDs

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Will your background information make the grade? This year, Chesterfield County public schools will scan photo ID's, ready to ban certain criminals from campus.

The process from scan to print takes seconds, yet it's re-writing the rules of campus security.

"It's meant to track essentially, who's coming in and out of our schools," said Shawn Smith, Chesterfield County Public Schools.

Raptor scans a government ID, cross referencing it with the national sex offender registry and the district's list of trespassers.

"If there was an unfortunate situation with someone who didn't belong on the school property, they'd be able to know at a moments notice and be able to deal with that particular situation," said Smith.

It also tracks the number of visitors and their locations in case of emergency.

"Hopkins Road is our first pilot. The elementary school started in May," Smith said.

Police have already escorted one person from the campus. But not all 64 schools will be ready by the first school bell. Under the standards of learning, computers can't be taken from educational use. Raptor needs two to function.

"So we're working closely with our schools that may not have a computer they can designate at this time just for that purpose," Smith said.

Potential visitors already see the value.

"I hate to see it come to that but I think it's a good move," said resident Mary Ann Fighira.

"If I've got to get a card, hey its one little extra to keep somebody from going in a school and taking a kid that they shouldn't take," said resident Jack McIntyre.

Although, he is afraid raptors will first be rolled into campuses in wealthier areas.

"This is a poorer area where the system needs to really be improved here first," McIntyre said.

The district says they haven't determined the order, but says radios and security monitors will also be included.

"If you can't identify yourself, you shouldn't be there," said McIntyre.

Parents, if you have questions when raptor will be on your child's campus, the best thing for you to do is contact your school administration.

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