FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne Community Schools is testing a new security system at the Lester L. Grile Administration Center that will soon be implemented across the district. Under this new system, visitors will now have to provide a state-issued photo ID.
The system was created by Safe Hiring Solutions based out of Danville, Ind. FWCS personnel will scan the barcode on the back of a visitor’s photo ID. Once it scans, the system will do a background check on the visitor to see if they’re on a sex offender registry or a list of people banned from the schools. The visitor will also have to take picture. Once their background clears, they’ll be issued a temporary ID with their photo on it.
“We take the safety of our building very seriously,” said Krista Stockman, FWCS spokesperson. “We know that students need to be safe in order to learn. And we want to make sure that anyone that’s coming in our building should be there.”
The temporary ID has a stop sign on it, which is clear once the visitor receives it. After eight hours, the stop sign will turn red, meaning the temporary ID has expired and the visitor must go back to the office to receive another.
When a visitor leaves, they must turn in their temporary ID to the office and be scanned out. Stockman said this prevents people from trying to use the same ID to get back into the schools.
“Some people may find that it might take a little bit longer than in the past to get in, but a little inconvenience to people visiting our schools, we think is worth knowing that our students are safe,” Stockman said.
Mike McCarty, creator of the security system, said he worked with Rose Hulman Institute of Technology to build this program. He said it will cost school districts the size of FWCS about $6,000 to $7,000 a year. He said the price will go down over a few years.
Stockman said eight schools in the district will receive the new system before the end of the year. It’ll eventually go to every building in the district.