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Musekgo High School employs sex offender security system

Aug. 11, 2014

Muskego — All visitors to Muskego High School will be checked to make sure they are not in the National Sex Offender Registry under a pilot program that could be expanded to other Muskego-Norway schools.

The Raptor Visitor Management Software will scan visitors' driver's licenses to perform the sex offender background check. If the person is found in the database, the school principal and police liaison officer will be called.

Visitors will receive photo badges to wear while in the school with information stating where they are going inside the school and how long they expect to be there. The new badge system would only be used during school hours, as the school is essentially an open campus in the evenings for community events and programs.

Visitors include volunteers, parents, photographers and employees of contractors doing work in the schools.

The pilot was recommended by the schools' emergency response team of police and fire personnel, school administrators and facility heads.

While all the schools have a security system for admitting visitors, in addition to secure entrances, said Jeremiah Johnson, supervisor of building and grounds, none involve sex offender checks. This would make the security procedures consistent, he added.

The Oconomowoc schools have Raptor Visitor Management in every school, and it is being piloted in Wauwatosa and Pewaukee, Johnson said. A number of other school districts are also exploring the program.

The pilot will cost $1,500 for the upcoming school year. It would cost $10,800 to outfit all the schools, in addition to $480 per school for licensing and support. The district has eight schools, which could make for an annual cost of $3,840.

School board member Brett Hyde sees possibilities in the system.

"It's a great way to plug up some security holes," he said. "I think it's a good start."

A few things do need to be worked out before school starts.

Board member Lisa Warwick was concerned about security-conscious visitors who might refuse to hand over their driver's licenses because they worry the school will retain their data.

In that case, the scan could be done with just the name of the visitor as verified by the driver's license or some other form of identification, Johnson said.

That identification would have to be a photo ID, board member Chris Buckmaster added.

Some sort of plan will also be needed as to how to handle contractors, said board member Dean Strom.

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