Raptor System screens out registered sex offenders at southern Indiana schools
Clarksville Elementary is one of several southern Indiana schools installing a system that does instant background checks on anyone coming into the school.
Thursday, April 16th 2015, 6:28 pm EDT by
Thursday, April 16th 2015, 6:51 pm EDT
CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- At some southern Indiana schools, sex offenders -- and anyone else who may be a potential threat to students -- are being turned away at the front door with a new system that screens-out unwanted visitors on the spot.
Clarksville Elementary is one of several southern Indiana schools installing a system that does instant background checks. So anyone who enters through the front door will produce a picture ID and it is done in minutes.
"I have a second grader here," said Bethany Moore, a Clarksville Elementary Parent.
Moore admits, like most children, her second grader can be a little too trusting when it comes to strangers.
"And we talk about it at home but, you know, I don't think that kids in general understand the harmful nature of some people," said Moore.
Right now the school does background checks manually, but more peace of mind and another layer of protection have arrived.
"Of course, our first priority is always student safety and this day and age you just can't be too careful," school principal Mindy Dablow said.
The school is in the process of installing a Raptor System, which instantly screens out registered sex offenders or other criminals.
"It immediately runs a background check and then it prints out a sticker or a label with the name and photo ID for the visitor," Dablow explained.
On Monday, the Clarksville Police Department presented the school with a check to purchase the system.
"It is absolutely necessary in southern Indiana; any school in the United States, really. You need to know who is in your building, you need to know who is visiting your building," Clarksville Police officer Mike Popplewell said.
"I'm never more than 3 minutes away," Popplewell said in the case that there's a match on the system.
Popplewell is also the school's resource officer.
"If there is a sex offender pops up, if anything shady pops up on that raptor system, I'll get a text alert on my phone and then I'll immediately, if I am not already here, I'll immediately come here," said Officer Popplewell.
With one already at Clarksville Elementary School and two more on the way, Bethany Moore likes knowing that not just anyone will have access to her children at school.
"Just knowing that they have that system here and that he's going to be here and that anybody who walks in the door is going to be safe for all of the kids to be around is great," said Moore.
The system also keeps track of students who are suspended or expelled and not allowed to be on campus.
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