GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Starting on Monday, children will actually return to learn in classrooms in the Green Bay Area School District. Now, Green Bay police are busy trying to hire enough crossing guards to help keep students safe.
Inside the Green Bay Police Department, crossing guards undergo training. People like Karen Seas – back for her fourth year. “It gives you structure to your day, but it makes you feel part of the community. You’re done with full-time employment, but it’s something you can do,” said Seas.
But according to police, they’re having a hard time finding enough applicants for crossing guard positions, less than a week before elementary school students return to in-person learning.
“We have a double-digit need, 10 plus need, for crossing guards, if not more,” said Commander Kevin Warych from Green Bay Police Department.
This year the police department is working with a new vendor – Cross Safe – to hire and train staff to watch over some 40 intersections across the city. But for whatever reason Warych says hiring has been a struggle.
“The pandemic has really hurt us and the pandemic has put a pause on pretty much the world. Unemployment benefits play a big role in the reasons why people are not coming back,” said Warych.
“Having adults on busy intersections throughout the city is very important for us, to make sure our kids are getting to and from school safely,” said Chris Collar, safety coordinator from the school district.
Warych says the job offers many benefits – one being the hourly wage.
“This is a great part-time job, it pays you $15 an hour, you get paid by the hour and for travel time in between intersections,” Warych said.
The other is the personal connection crossing guards form with students.
“Families come pick up their kids and you get to know them, the same people and it’s needed, we need to keep people safe,” Seas said.
And Warych says until enough are hired police employees will fill in the gaps. But he’s hopeful the public will step forward to help.
“We’re making a desperate plea to the Green Bay community,” said Warych.
If you’d like to apply click on this link.