Creating a Safer Campus

January 26, 2009 7:03:39 PM PST
Parents, students, and officers are wondering if metal detectors should be used more often at Fresno Unified Schools. This comes after shots were fired in the schools parking lot on Friday night. It happened during a basketball game with Edison High School. The incident is still under investigation. Police are hoping to identify a suspect soon.

This is the scene Friday night after someone fired shots in the parking lot outside a Bullard High School basketball game. Evidence of the crime has been removed but not forgotten.

Kate Oneil said, "Bullard is a really good school. I'm really proud to go here, but it makes me nervous to be here."

The school instantly went into lock down mode. School Resource Officer Jamie Rios says they tried to keep everyone inside safe. But a shooting investigation quickly turned into crowd control when worried parents started showing up.

"They start responding to the school and that starts creating a bottle neck," said Sgt. Rios.

"I'm sure they did the best they could I know there is going to be violence no matter where you are," said Kristy Parker.

It was in this school parking lot that police found a gun and shell casings in a garbage can. Soon school officials will begin discussing whether or not to use detectors at basketball games.

"Wanding for basketball games is definitely an option we'll work with Fresno Unified to see if that is where they want to go with this," said Sgt. Rios.

Susan Bedi with Fresno Unified says an internal meeting with safety officers is scheduled for later this week. Fresno Unified first started using metal detecting wands at football games this fall. Rios says using detectors more often will help prevent crime on campus.

"It's a deterant because it is s physical instrument that they can see, we also have caught several subjects trying to bring in narcotics," said Sgt. Rios.

"I'm all for it whatever it takes to keep our kids safe," said Parker.

Sgt. Rios says screening with metal detectors start at the front door so we asked how do they keep parking lots safe. He says after everyone is inside of the athletic events officers patrol the parking lots looking for suspicious activity.

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