District to add screening system | CraigDailyPress.com

District to add screening system

Procedure for handling potential threats to be determined

Bridget Manley

At a glance

Moffat County School District

screening system

Name: Raptor, a Web-based software program

Screens for: Registered sex offenders, people with restraining orders or current felony warrants and parents with custody disputes

How it works:

• School secretary scans visitor’s driver’s license or other form of identification

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• System checks card using state and federal registered sex offender list and Craig Police Department database

• If person is listed on database, system sends out alert to secretary, School Resource Officer and designated district official

• Procedure for handling cases after alert yet to be determined

Cost: $13,718 to implement and maintain in district schools for two years; $2,500 annually after two years

How it will be paid for: Federally funded COPS grant pays for first two years; operation and maintenance cost paid from district operating budget after two years

Scheduled debut: October 2009

— Moffat County School District is looking to add another tool to its already growing arsenal of school security devices.

Raptor, a software application, will alert school officials if a potentially dangerous person walks through their doors. The Web-based software program will check visitors’ proof of identification against state, national and local databases.

The system is scheduled to debut in district schools by October 2009.

“I think it’s a real good way that we can further secure our schools,” said Bill Leonard, Craig Police Department Patrol Division commander.

Once Raptor is installed, visitors will have to present a driver’s license or other form of identification to the school secretary, who will then scan the ID card and print a badge for them to wear while in the building.

Raptor will check the visitor’s information against state and national sex offender registries. If the person’s name matches with an entry on the list, an alert will pop up on the secretary’s screen. The system will send a similar message to the school resource officer and a designated school district official.

Just what happens after that, though, is something that’s still up in the air.

“We don’t have all of that worked out,” said Joel Sheridan, construction liaison for district building upgrade projects. “I’m assuming right now it would be the same as if we didn’t know the person, and then we’d take time to verify” the visitor’s identity.

If visitors don’t have a form on identification with them, their names can be entered into the system instead.

However, a visitor in that case could get around the system by providing the wrong name.

“All we’ve done so far is identified that as an issue and one that’s going to require a solution,” Sheridan said.

He added that officials working on the system have until February or March to make decisions on these and other issues before they seek the school board’s final approval for Raptor.

District administrators still have yet to decide what they will do if a visitor doesn’t have an identification card.

However, he stressed that the system doesn’t necessarily warrant police action.

“It just means there’s an alert, and if the school resource officer : is there, (he or she) can check it out,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to run in with lights and handcuffs.”

Raptor also would screen visitors against a local database designed to identify:

• Parents with restraining orders

• Faculty members’ spouses with restraining orders

• People with current felony warrants

• Parents with custody dispute issues

In all cases, only a database manager chosen by the school district and police department could access confidential information stored by the system.

“Currently, more than 5,000 schools in 39 states use this program,” including school districts in Adams, Douglas and Jefferson counties, according to school district literature.

Raptor will cost $13,718 to implement during the first two years. A Community Oriented Policing Services grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, which also will be used to fund other security upgrades, will pay for the program during this period.

After two years, the system will cost $2,500 per year to maintain in all district schools, at which point money from the district’s operating fund will support the program.

At a glance

Moffat County School District

screening system

Name: Raptor, a Web-based software program

Screens for: Registered sex offenders, people with restraining orders or current felony warrants and parents with custody disputes

How it works:

• School secretary scans visitor’s driver’s license or other form of identification

• System checks card using state and federal registered sex offender list and Craig Police Department database

• If person is listed on database, system sends out alert to secretary, School Resource Officer and designated district official

• Procedure for handling cases after alert yet to be determined

Cost: $13,718 to implement and maintain in district schools for two years; $2,500 annually after two years

How it will be paid for: Federally funded COPS grant pays for first two years; operation and maintenance cost paid from district operating budget after two years

Scheduled debut: October 2009