“We help schools with their day-to-day security needs in the front office,” said Vesterman. “The first steps of school security are locking your exterior doors and funneling everyone through one main entrance. Once you have them in there, you to make sure you know who is coming in and out and screen out those you don’t want there.”
Over the past 10 years, Vesterman said that his company’s software platform has flagged over 11,000 registered sex offenders trying to enter schools, as well as over 120,000 custody alerts. It has been a challenge for schools to transition away from pencil-and-paper visitor management for some time but post-Sandy Hook, Vesterman said that schools really started to take a look at what the basic security measures were that they needed to have in place.
“They went back and said, ‘ok, let me do some of the basics and get those right; let me switch from pencil-and-paper to an electronic system and let me screen people coming in and out,” said Vesterman.
Currently, Raptor’s software platform is being used by schools in 45 states and range from some of the largest districts in the nation to single school districts. In fact, according to Vesterman, 60 percent of the schools in Texas use the Raptor system.
“It shows that this can be used by every type of school. Everything from Houston ISD, one of the top 10 districts in the country, down to rural school districts in West Texas,” added Vesterman.
Vesterman said that perhaps one of the biggest hindrances to schools adopting visitor management software is just “inertia” and getting people to change their habits and traditional ways of doing things.
“They know that they need it. They know that they need to deal with custodial issues, they know that they can’t let sex offenders into the schools and they know they want to have an electronic log so that when something happens in the back closet and they see on CCTV that someone stole something, then they just look at who has checked in today, they look at the faces, they tie them together and they can catch the guy,” said Vesterman.