WINCHESTER, Ky. (FOX 56) — The Winchester Police Department is looking to hire more crossing guards to help kids get to and from school each day.
Right now, there are 15 crossing guards who cover all the schools in Winchester. The police department is looking to raise that number by hiring part-time crossing guards to fill in when the department and the Clark County School District need them.
Sgt. Monty Corbett said given the limited hours a part-time guard would work, roughly two hours a day, and thus the limited pay of $20 an hour, the best candidates are grandparents or retirees who love being around kids.
Corbett says for some crossing guards, going to work is the best time of their day because they get to interact with the students, and although it’s just for a short period of time, they can have a positive impact on a child.
“They may be the only positive voice that that child hears during the day,” Corbett explained. “We have a lot of children that we deal with law enforcement. They may be coming from backgrounds and home situations that may not be so positive. So, these crossing guards use their small interactions in the morning and afternoon with these kids to let them know that they’re cared for and that they want them to succeed.”
When crossing guards put their vests on every day and head to work, they know the risks that come with the job, but they do it to serve their community and have a positive impact.
If you recall, earlier this year, a crossing guard in Lexington was hit while directing traffic near Garett Morgan Elementary and ultimately lost their life.
Corbett said as the department looks to hire more crossing guards, keeping them safe is a top priority. He says distracted driving is as widespread as it has ever been, making it even more challenging and dangerous to control traffic.
LATEST KENTUCKY NEWS
The department is asking drivers to slow down, put their phones away, and use caution when driving in and around a school zone, as it could be the difference between life and death.
“You are not the only person in a hurry,” Corbett proclaimed. “You’re not the only person in a rush. You’re not the only person who has a thousand other things to do after you pick up your child. Or if you go into your work the 5 minutes that most maybe that you would be inconvenienced waiting in line or being stopped by a crossing guard could mean a child’s life.”
Another safety precaution Corbett said the department stresses to their crossing guards that before walking out to help kids cross the street, take an extra second or two to make sure traffic is fully stopped.
For anyone interested in applying, you can do so here.