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Increased Security at Fresno Schools

Fresno Unified has also put up more than 900 high-definition surveillance cameras to deter crime.

More than 73,000 students headed back to campus at the largest school district in the Central Valley this week.

But some of the latest additions to schools at Fresno Unified, may go unnoticed.

Fox26 News reporter Liz Gonzalez shows us the increased security measures in place this fall.

Class is in session at schools across Fresno and you'll find some new faces in the crowd, but these are not students or staff.

For years, there have been officers in high schools, but this is the first year fifteen Fresno police officers will be assigned to middle schools.

Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Michael Hanson said, "We live in a society that doesn't live in the same norms we liked to live in 20, 30, 40 years ago."

Hanson says the district and Fresno police got a 3-year grant, worth more than $1.2 million, to fund the officers.

The new officers will work on campuses and in neighboring areas. "Crime and things happen on weekends. And very easily, because students know the officer on campus and officer knows who to talk to, a lot of crimes get solved a lot more quickly because of that relationship," said Hanson.

Along with adding officers, Fresno Unified has also put up more than 900 high-definition surveillance cameras to deter crime. "If you come to campus looking to steal a computer, we're gonna have your face and you're not gonna get away with it," said Hanson.

At Sequoia Middle School in Southeast Fresno, those cameras could be crucial to solving a crime that happened days ago.

Crooks stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of copper from an air conditioning unit.

Sequoia Middle School Principal Matt Ward said, "There are some neighborhood challenges here we face that we have to be aware of and we want our families to feel our students are safe in our campus and that this is an Oasis within our community."

Click here to watch an interview at Fox26 with Superintendent Hanson and Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

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