Prudence Giles of Westview Elementary scans the driver’s license of visitor Carmen Penney using the Raptor system. (Photo: Contributed)

Hamilton County schools will be installing a new visitor monitoring system in an effort to increase security.

The Raptor System is designed to instantly screen visitors to ensure they are allowed to be at the school. Visitors run through the Raptor System are checked against sex offender registries in all 50 states and custom school databases that keep track of custody alerts and banned visitors, according to a news release from the school system.

Raptor works with any government issued ID, including driver’s licenses, passports and military IDs. Visitors may also use an alternate ID if they do not have a government-issued one.


Those who are approved by Raptor are immediately printed a visitor’s pass that includes a photo, the date of visit and destination within the school. If there is a problem with a visitor, Raptor can notify security or law enforcement by sending a text or an email to those trained to respond.

Raptor does not share the information gathered in the security process outside of the public safety community.

The new system was installed this week at East Hamilton middle and high schools, East Side Elementary School, the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences Lower School and Westview Elementary School. All Hamilton County schools are scheduled to have the system by the end of April.

The district is also looking at adding controlled access doors with cameras that allow people inside the school to see the visitor before letting them into the school. The doors’ installation is set to be a priority for the summer months. The district is also looking for further security enhancements for the 2018-2019 school year, according to a news release from the school system.

Hamilton County public school safety has made its way into the news recently after both the Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson and Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond both released statements about school safety. These comments follow several incidents in the Chattanooga area and across the nation involving violence or threats of violence in public schools.