RAYTOWN, MO (KCTV) -- Cameras in and around schools are nothing new. From the gym, to the cafeteria, Raytown High has 100. District wide there are 1,000 and security staff can only watch so many screens at once.
With this new system, when you walk past that camera and if you’re flagged as a problem, security doesn’t have to actually see you. You’ll have an alert sent out to security and administrators.
“This facial recognition measures 150,000 points on your face,” Dr. Travis Hux, the Assistant Superintendent for the Raytown School District said.
Hux says the idea came to him when the Parkland School shooting happened. The accused shooter was a former student with a long list of disciplinary actions against him. He wasn’t actually expelled but the expulsion list Raytown keeps is an example that jumped out to Hux.
“An expelled student comes to the entry or walks in front of any camera, they’re going to be flagged because they’re in the system as expelled. An alert is going to be sent out,” Hux said. “If we go into a lockdown before he’s even in the building, the police are already on the way to help secure the threat.”
They already have a lot of photos in their system. Students and staff are in there and anyone who wants to come into the building needs to go to the office and show their driver’s license and that driver’s license is scanned.
“We currently scan you on the sex offender registry, our trespass list, or expulsion list,” Hux said.
What Raytown schools are trying out isn’t like the complex 3D system our Joe Chiodo told you about in May, which is used in place of a card key.
A 2D driver’s license photo, or in the case of a sex offender, a mug shot, will be enough to spark a match.
“The goal is not to screen everyone coming and going. We’re screening for threats,” Hux said.
And it’s not taking the place of locked doors. Visitors still need to be buzzed in during school hours. But at things like football games that level of security is not there. Gates are open.
“The football game, the parent teacher night, when anybody can come and go,” Hux said.
That’s where the new software changes the face of security in a much bigger way.
They’ve been working with two different manufacturers since the beginning of summer on a pilot program. They got the software for free. They are now trying to get money from the department of justice, $500,000 in a grant that should pay to implement it districtwide for the next three years.
They hope to have an answer on whether they’re getting that money by the end of the semester.