School Goes High Tech To Protect Against Criminals - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/12/06-Winona

School Goes High Tech To Protect Against Criminals

When visitors come to Winona Elementary School, they're greeted with more than just a smile.  Every adult visitor to the campus has to to show a photo ID at the front office. The ID is then scanned with a piece of software, called V-Soft by Raptorware Technologies.

The software checks the ID against 48 sex offender databases across the country, all the states except for Wisconsin and Hawaii. When it doesn't find a match, it prints a visitor badge, complete with a black and white photo and the date and time, so old passes can't be reused.

Principal Todd Williams introduced the system to the district after moving here from a Houston district.

"It's a great way to know exactly who is coming into your school," says Williams.

The system can also be programmed with any child custody issues the school needs to be aware of. It can even be used to keep track of employee work hours. William says some parents had questions when they first started using the system, but now he says they all seem pleased with it.

"Parents like it. They just like the idea that their kids are in a safe environment. If they're in a safe environment then we know that they can learn, and they don't mind it at all just because they know it's in the best interest of their kids," says Williams.

According to the company, the initial cost for the V-Soft is about $1500. Then, there's an annual maintenance fee of $432.

Williams says that's a small price to pay to help insure his students are safe.

Four other East Texas schools are using the V-Soft technology including Jefferson, Livingston, Marshall and Mount Pleasant ISD.

Pine Tree High School just ordered the system. If they like it, they say they may implement it throughout the district.

If you'd like more information on the V-Soft program click on the Know More on 7 link, then look for the story marked V-Soft School Security Systems.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

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