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Onondaga Central Schools to implement new visitor ID program

The weekend after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the Superintendent at Onondaga Central Schools pulled together a safety committee. He met with local law enforcement officials and researched several ideas. Now, a new system will be in place in just a matter of weeks.
Nedrow (WSYR-TV) -- The weekend after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the Superintendent at Onondaga Central Schools pulled together a safety committee. He met with local law enforcement officials and researched several ideas. Now, a new system will be in place in just a matter of weeks.

Superintendent Joe Rotella laid out his vision for a new visitor ID program called Raptor during a school board meeting on Tuesday.

A set of double doors would be the first line of defense, a single point of entry at each school. Visitors will swipe their license for an instant background check before they get buzzed in.

“It monitors the criminal sex offender databases and so on and keeps us up to date on that,” Rotella explained. “We can also add our own data to that database, so it lets us be a little bit more aware of who is requesting to come into our building.”

Rotella said law enforcement can swipe in with badges around the clock so they don't get stuck searching for an unlocked door during an emergency.

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, social studies teacher Peter Hyland says more security will give his co-workers more confidence.

“It’s like any tragedy. You never think it’s going to happen to you until it does," Hyland said. "I think whatever they do to make the place safer is great."

Principals can put an app on their phone to monitor swipes at the main door for any red flags. The superintendent visited other local schools that already have the ID system and said he was pleased with the results.

Rotella expects the program will cost under $700 a year and says the system should be in place sometime in the next month.
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