MVRHS upgrades building security with new ID badge

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School now utilizes an electronic ID and log system.

MVRHS receptionist Inez Montanile checks in a group from The Yard during school hours last Tuesday morning. School visitors must provide a photo ID that is then used to generate a guest sticker. — Photo by Michael Cummo

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) is now using the Raptor ID security system to check in visitors. The system, in place at schools across the country, uses commonly carried IDs, such as a driver’s license, to generate a date- and time-stamped identification badge, and provides a visit history for school officials.

Oak Bluffs Police Sgt. Mike Marchand, school resource officer, and MVRHS principal Gil Traverso visited three high schools on the Cape earlier this month that used similar visitor-security software.

“Before we had very little idea of the visitors in the school,” Sergeant Marchand said. “They just had to write their name on a piece of paper. Now I can see every visitor in the past month, the time they arrived, where they went in the school, and when they left.”

Sergeant Marchand brought the Raptor system to the attention of the school safety committee. “I worked with the committee to find a feasible security system,” said Sergeant Marchand.

The committee decided on the Raptor security system, as it was the most efficient and affordable. It allows the school to keep tabs on all visitors allowed in the building. Over 12,000 schools around the country now use Raptor systems, according to the company based in Houston.

“Simply scan a visitor’s driver’s license or other state-issued ID, and the Raptor system instantly screens for registered sex offenders in all 50 states, and can also screen for individuals with restraining orders, custody issues, suspended or expelled students, known gang members, or for any custom alert,” according to the company’s website.

The Raptor system was installed last month, and has been very successful, school officials said. It is located in the attendance security office near the school entrance. When a visitor arrives at the school, his or her driver’s license is scanned, and all the information is put into the system.

In addition, the system instantly screens the visitor through a database of registered sex offenders. “The Raptor system is an effective way to control who is let into the school,” Sergeant Marchand said.

“If you look at schools off-Island, we are way behind in terms of school security,” Sergeant Marchand told The Times. “We are doing our best trying to catch up and keep the school up to par.”

“Raptor allows the administration to know all the visitors in the school and where they are going,” said Elliott Bennett, assistant principal. “This is one of the many security features that allow the administration to ensure the safety of the students.”