MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho exchanged high fives with students as he and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez assessed new security measures at Kenwood K-8 in Kendall.
Both agreed district-wide the security improvements have been seamless.
“Day one, and at the end of the week, the implementation has been flawless,” Carvalho told reporters as he and Gimenez stood surrounded by county and school police.
There’s a sworn cop in every school, thanks to help from the county and some twenty cities. Miami-Dade police are picking up the lion’s load, staffing 100 schools.
“I wanted to see for myself how the implementation of our school security system was carried out. I’m very pleased,” Gimenez said. County officers are staffing Kenwood K-8.
Miami-Dade actually began hardening its schools immediately after the Parkland massacre.
“We closed it down to make it safer for everybody, closing it to one access point, everybody coming in checking IDs and just making it safe for everybody,” said Kenwood Principal Rudy Rodriguez.
Every visitor must be scanned in with a government ID and issued a photo visitor’s badge.
“I feel very comforted knowing that there’s one entry point to the school, and that they are definitely checking IDs and you have to have a safety security clearance,” said parent Lindsay Bordenkircher.
The scanners in every school are part of a computer-based system called Raptor. When a person’s government ID is scanned, an instant background check is run.
“These scanners communicate with criminal databases, and automatically notify police departments should there be someone attempting to enter the school who has a criminal past or has exhibited predatory behavior,” Carvalho said.
Fifteen thousand security cameras are monitored in real time in schools, and at a central location with a Miami-Dade Police lieutenant observing. Amid all the cops and security gear, there was also some serious – and fun – teaching going on Friday at Kenwood K-8. All in all, it appears students, parents and staff have settled into the post-Parkland new normal, and now the focus is about the business of learning.