St. Louis-based high school installs facial recognition system

St. Louis-based St. Mary’s High School recently became one of the first schools in the nation to install a new biometric lock system that features facial recognition cameras, according to a report by the Stltoday.com.

Currently in its second week of use, Blue Line Security Solutions Inc’s system includes cameras mounted between the double doors at the school’s two entrances.

Students, faculty, staff, volunteers and other regular visitors have been able to gain entry into the building as they are identified by the facial recognition system, which automatically unlocks the school’s doors for them.

The system can be configured to exclude certain individuals who do not belong, including sex offenders, former disgruntled employees or anyone legally prohibited from having contact with students or staff.

The doors remain locked for these individuals and the system sends an email or text message to key school personnel.

Though the system cannot prevent a person from breaking through the glass doors, school president Michael England said it will at least ensure that the staff is prepared for an unwanted visitor, along with being aware of who is inside the building at all times.

Additionally, the security system will inevitably benefit the school as it is located in a high-crime neighborhood.

The school is currently leasing the $15,000 two-camera system for $500 monthly, but will soon apply for a safety grant from the Archdiocese.

The same system is also installed at the St. Louis Circuit Court and several area retailers and day-care operations, said Blue Line co-owner Joe Spiess, who added that St. Mary’s system has read faces about 1,400 times to date, with only two misreads

Blue Line co-owner Lindsey Sylvia ensured the public that private users are not selling their databases of faces.

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