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New Campus Supervisor On Duty
Retired from a career in law enforcement, Brian Franks is still finding a way to put his training and years of experience to work, taking over as the new campus supervisor for Escalon High School. He also works with other schools in the district as an attendance liaison.

He took over the post this school year, with the district not renewing a contract with the police department on a shared School Resources Officer. Franks is employed by the district.

"I retired from the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office, I worked there a total of 25 years," Franks explained. "I did patrol, corrections, worked in court services, so I had quite a bit of experience."

The opportunity to use many of those skills in a campus supervisory role at Escalon High came at the right time.

"It has been great," Franks said of the work so far. "A lot of the kids know me."

Students have adapted well, he said, to seeing him more as an authority figure on campus as opposed to the father of a friend or classmate.

Making sure students are sticking to the routine, getting to their classes on time, is part of his role and he also keeps an eye out for any unusual activity.

"Kind of like a constant watchdog," he said, "even for outside influences."

Any visitors to the Escalon High campus are required to check in at the office first so Franks is on hand to make sure procedures and protocol are observed correctly. He also works with assistant principal Talmage Allen on attendance and truancy issues and is an attendance liaison for the district.

Escalon Unified School District Superintendent Ron Costa said he is pleased so far.

"I think things are going very well, it's nice to have a (constant) presence on campus," Costa said.

He added that in terms of budgeting, it was more economically feasible for the district to hire its own campus supervisor than contract with the police department for an officer.

"We've seen at the high school, fewer kids out of class wandering around, a lot less tardies," Costa noted.

In addition to his work with San Joaquin County, Franks served a year with the Oakdale Police Department and spent over two years with the U.S. Marshals Office, finally retiring from San Joaquin County in July 2010.

"The main thing is just setting the tone with the kids," Franks noted of serving in his role.

The school year has gone fairly smoothly so far, with a few incidents involving students but nothing major.

Franks said part of his role will be to 'read' the students and try to head off any problems before they occur. But he said he also wants to provide a listening ear and help direct students to help when they need it.

"I'm there to help them," he said. "I want it to be a positive thing."

He will also help work security at some Friday night home football games and, outside of school, occasionally works event security for Stanford University on weekends.

"It's good experience, being on a campus of that magnitude," Franks said of his work at Stanford. "And whatever I can do here, I want to bring a better experience to our students."

Franks said he feels his longtime work in the law enforcement field has made a 'good fit' for him in his new post.

"It's nice to want to come to work," he said.