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Technology helps keep students safe at school

The Ident-A-Kid software screened our name against the registered sex offender list for all 50 states. (WGME)

KENNEBUNK (WGME) -- Imagine a school that scanned everyone in the lobby and checked them against a list of known sex offenders.

It could give parents piece of mind. And in Kennebunk it already exists.

CBS 13’s visit to Kennebunk Elementary School started like any other, but as Principal Ryan Quinn explained, instead of signing our names we scan our ID’s.

The Ident-A-Kid software screened our name against the registered sex offender list for all 50 states.

The computer snapped a picture and then printed out a ticket to get us inside.

“We've been very fortunate here, but the last thing you want to do is wait until after something happens so we try to be proactive and just make sure we know who's in the building at all times,” Quinn said.

Quinn says it was installed three years ago. Since then, he says all alerts have been the result of someone sharing only the same name as a sex offender, which can be verified by their photo.

“It's great for screening delivery men and people who don’t come on regular basis, people we don’t know,” Quinn said.

Another safety tool is being rolled out this upcoming school year. With COPsync911, teachers and staff can notify law enforcement of a threat by clicking a button on their laptop. It reaches dispatch and patrol units within 15 seconds.

“On average, it’s a two to four minute window to place a 911 call and have officer dispatched, so this is happening much, much quicker, certainly when you compare seconds to minutes,” Brandon Flanagan, CEO of COPsync911, said.

Flanagan says police see the location of the school, plus the room inside where the alert came from.

“So we'll take floor plans developed for each specific school and load them into software,” Flanagan said.

Those inside can open a two-way chat box to provide police with details and police can let them know when it's all clear.

“You can never completely prevent situations necessarily, but you can mitigate them and slow somebody down,” Flanagan said.

It makes staff and students that much safer.

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