New security check-in system up and running

Visitors to campus reminded to bring driver's license

Visitors+to+the+school+now+must+check+in+at+the+front+office+and+show+their+driver%27s+license.+

Gracie Carr

Visitors to the school now must check in at the front office and show their driver's license.

Toby Bradshaw, Reporter

Once unheard of, school shootings and other intruder incidents are sadly occurring more frequently.

However, technology has improved, and this school is determined to do whatever possible to better protect its students. This meant hiring School Resource Officer Tabetha Emenaker, who was part of a team that worked to install a new security check in system in the front office.

“The old (check in system) wasn’t as secure as for what we need today in 2020. The new system was fulfilled for what we need today” said director of technology Mr. Brian Haselby, who coordination the installation and testing of the new system. 

Haselby said, “The previous check in system was a paper handwritten log where you could write your name, time in and time out and then you would grab an orange visitor sticker.” 

Emenaker added, “With the old system, people just signed in and walked in no matter what.”

According to Haselby, “It’s been a long time coming and we wanted to get up to speed and up to the level of security that Cathedral needs now.”

However, all of that will be improved with the installation of a device that runs a background check on visitors that includes criminal records, the sex offender list and the school’s do-not-admit list. 

Emenaker said, “It will (also) send me a picture of suspected criminal’s driver’s license for me to double check. I can be called up to bypass the system in case someone is flagged but not actually a criminal.”

In addition to background checking the people admitted to campus, Haselby said, “We can quickly check who is in the building at all times. (This will be) helpful for drills when we are going outside like a reunification of fire drill.” Haselby continued, “This is not the only phase of our plan to make the school safer. There are three phases. (with) Phase 1: this new security check in, Phase 2: we will track the volunteers and vendors that visit the school and Phase 3: we will track who is leaving early or coming in late.”

In order to successfully implement the system, front desk personnel had to be trained to use it. According to Haselby, “We took one week for training and the system officially went online one week after.” Haselby continued, “For the last three weeks, we have been putting a notice in the parent newsletter to notify them (about the change).”

Haselby said, “It’s important for students to remind their parents to bring in their driver’s license. At the beginning, it’s going to take a little bit longer to check them in, but it’s going to make us safer and allow us to manage who is in the school easier.” Haselby continues, “It takes about a minute to check in. As we go, I see that time going down to around 15 seconds. The front office is going to get better at giving directions and people will become more used to it.”

Enemaker said, “It may seem tedious to people who aren’t used to it, but more and more private schools are getting this system now. (We consulted) different schools to find out what other schools are using and we decided to go with this check in system.”

In addition to the heightened security at the front desk, Emenaker aims to “hopefully get Intruder Stop locks on the school doors, locks that attach to the bottom of the door which SWAT teams couldn’t breach. We’re doing this to increase your level of safety.”

Haselby said, “We’re continuing to update systems and spend technology money to better the systems where at Cathedral.” However, he continued, “With the Innovation Center construction beginning soon, we have a greater need to track visitors. Doors will be blocked off. And there will be a lot of workers going in and out making security more difficult.”