Visitor Management System Protects Students against Predators

Aug. 21, 2006
System checks visitors against sexual predator databases for proper visitor management

MILWAUKEE – Johnson Controls is installing an innovative security solution designed to protect students in the nation’s sixth largest school district, Broward County Public Schools in Florida, helping it to comply with the Jessica Lunsford Act.  The Act, which took effect in September 2005, set requirements to prevent sexual offenders or predators from having access to Florida public school district campuses. 

“The STAR (Security Tracking and Response) System helps Broward County Public Schools address the issue of campus security, while fulfilling the requirements of the state’s Jessica Lunsford Act,” said Dr. Joseph Melita, Executive Director, Special Investigative Unit and Professional Standards, Broward County School District.  “The customized system provides the District with a state-of-the-art electronic method of identifying anyone who enters our school buildings and grounds in order to ensure the safety and security of our students and school-based staff.”

As the project manager, Johnson Controls worked as a collaborative partner with the District to design, customize and implement this solution.  The company serves as a single source for software development, installation, establishing processes, training, and ongoing service.  System installation will be complete at 250 schools by September 2006.

Using SISCO’s FAST-PASS® system, the STAR System provides a standard method to document and track visitors as they enter and exit school sites.  It offers high-speed level 1 checks against local, state and national sexual offender databases and level 2 checks against FBI and state and local law enforcement databases.  The system will also be used to confirm authorization for student pick-ups.  Furthermore, the project involves streamlining the volunteer program with an online application process. 

“The main goal of this solution is to prevent potentially dangerous individuals from having access to these students.  In many cases, the idea of being identified will be enough to deter a sexual predator from making an attempt at these sites,” said Steve Thompson, Director of Marketing, Fire & Security Solutions, Johnson Controls.

A unique feature of the system is its network-wide connectivity.  If a visitor moves from building to building, each attempt to gain access will be reflected in real-time throughout the District.  The system can also work as a District-wide messaging center.  For example, an Amber Alert, hurricane warning or other emergency could be communicated instantly to every workstation in the network.

Because it is at the forefront of this issue, the Broward County solution may serve as a model for schools in Florida and possibly throughout the country as the Jessica Lunsford Act has achieved awareness nationwide.  Other states with this Act or an equivalent in place include Oregon, Nevada, Alaska, Arizona, Nebraska, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia, and Jessica’s Law will appear on California’s November 2006 General Election ballot.

Johnson Controls offers a comprehensive approach to creating and delivering safety and security solutions tailored to specific needs, including fire and smoke detection, access control, video surveillance, perimeter protection, emergency response and master planning.  The company works with clients and suppliers around the world to design and implement solutions that deliver simplicity of operation, enhanced effectiveness and cost-effective protection. Johnson Controls can be a single source for turnkey installation and service of fire alarm and integrated security systems in addition to providing support for assessment, planning, and design.

SISCO is dedicated to developing and installing software and hardware identity management solutions, which offer a variety of features and benefits that are tailored to meet the specific security needs of each customer.  SISCO’s high-speed photo identification and tracking systems address major security concerns and help reduce liability for organizations worldwide.  More information on FAST-PASS is available at

Johnson Controls is a global leader in interior experience, building efficiency and power solutions. The company provides innovative automotive interiors that help make driving more comfortable, safe and enjoyable.  For buildings, it offers products and services that optimize energy use and improve comfort and security.  Johnson Controls also provides batteries for automobiles and hybrid electric vehicles, along with systems engineering and service expertise.  Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) has 136,000 employees in more than 1,000 locations serving customers in 125 countries.  Founded in 1885, the company is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  For additional information, please visit