Palm Beach County schools taking extra security step, scanning v - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Palm Beach County schools taking extra security step, scanning visitor IDs

SUBURBAN WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Palm Beach County School District is upping its security measures for the 2015-2016 school year. District officials are implementing a new security program called Raptor that will alert staff when sex offenders visit a school. 

Anyone who enters a school within the district as a visitor will have his or her ID scanned. Once it's scanned, the visitor's name and birthday will be entered into Raptor, which scans sex offender databases in all 50 states. 

Palm Beach County Schools Police Chief Lawrence Leon says it wasn't feasible for office staff to check sex offender registries before. He expects using Raptor will help keep unwanted guests from gaining access inside schools. 

Anyone identified as a sex offender who's not a parent will be turned away. If a visitor is a sex offender and a parent with rights to visit a student, he or she will be escorted throughout the visit. 

Raptor is also programmed to identify custodial issues that schools need to know about before releasing a child.

Implementing the new system is expected to take some extra time at first. Chief Leon says additional staff will be available to help the scans go more smoothly during the busy start of the school year.

After a visitor has had his or her license scanned once, there's no need to re-scan it. Visitors can simply give their names for school employees to run through the system for an updated database check.

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