YMCA adopts new system to protect children from sex offenders

Several YMCAs in northern New Jersey are adopting a new system designed to protect children from potential sexual abuse.

The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges in Livingston recently introduced the Raptor System. The system will help identify possible sexual predators who might try to gain access to the facility.

YMCA members will continue to have their ID cards scanned, but now any guest who comes into the building will also be scanned. Their IDs will be matched against the national sex offender registry. Anyone who shows up on the scan will not be allowed inside.

"It's a comprehensive screening. It's all 50 states and so if they're on the list, they're not going to be allowed into the Y," says Metropolitan YMCA COO Edward Philipp. "It's just another layer of safety for our members and our families and for our community."

The facility in Livingston began testing the program last month. The YMCA in Wayne is expected to begin the program next week.

Philipp says that the goal is to have the program in place in all six Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges locations.

"Commitment to child safety. It's our No. 1 priority and this is just one more thing that we think makes our community stronger," Philipp says.

News 12 New Jersey is told that YMCAs across the country, as well as schools, have begun using the Raptor System.

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