At Doral Academy Preparatory School, Principal Carlos Ferralls wanted an extra layer of security for visitors on campus.
"There was really no system that would check backgrounds or screen individuals that came to the school," Ferralls said.
In 2015, Ferralls learned about an iPad-based app named CONCIERGEpad – and Doral Academy became one of the first schools to implement this security system.
"It gives us a sense of security as administrators that the individuals that are coming in are safe to be in the building and that we are able to track those individuals throughout the time that they are here at our school," he said.
CONCIERGEpad screens all visitors and checks them against sex offender registries as well as banned-persons lists. The app does not do criminal background checks.
"It creates an electronic log of who is coming into your facility," said Frank Porro, the co-founder of CONCIEGEpad.
CONCIERGEpad has multiple platforms, but the first feature the company rolled out was the check-in and check-out feature for school visitors and parents.
It's as simple as scanning your license and typing in your info. If the checks are successful, you get a badge. But if you're in a database, administrators are alerted.
"The administration gets a notification saying that there's a potential sex offender in the building and we have all the mugshots on file so we actually supply the administration with all the mugshots," said Rene Perez, founder of CONCIERGEpad.
Perez, a Miami native, developed the app in 2014, and more than 200 schools across the country are now using it. After the Parkland school shooting, Perez says there's been greater interest in the product.
"As a result of that, we also built an emergency message system where an administrator can basically initiate an emergency procedure from their cellphone," Perez said.
The iPad will turn red to indicate there is an emergency situation, and the principal or authorized user can send text messages with updates to teachers and staff members in the building.
For more information, visit CONCIERGEpad's website.