JONESBORO – The Clayton County Public Schools Department of Safety and Security has assumed management and oversight responsibilities related to crossing guard assignments throughout the district.
Approved as part of the fiscal year 2018 budget and effective July 1, the CCPS Department of Safety and Security will utilize Vets Securing America Inc. to ensure crosswalks throughout the district are staffed as students travel to and from school. This task was previously supervised by the Clayton County Police Department.
As part of the agreement with Vets Securing America, the security firm has provided the district with 61 crossing guards with varied law enforcement and crossing guard experience. The company has also internally funded the hiring of an additional 15 substitute crossing guards to be used as needed.
“It is the fundamental mission of school crossing guards to allow children safe passage across the street,” said CCPS Chief of Safety and Security Thomas Trawick in a press release. “With Clayton County Public Schools having a large student population and being a part of a large metropolitan area, we have a lot of commuters traveling through our district as students are arriving to and departing from campuses.
“Due to the high number of travelers in our school zones and large numbers of students arriving to and departing from our campuses daily, VSA provides a solution that allows school district officers to safeguard our campuses while the crossing guards ensure our scholars’ safe and on-time arrival by controlling the flow of traffic,” he concluded.
According to Georgia codes O.C.G.A 20-2-1131 (direction of traffic by school-crossing guards) and O.C.G.A 40-6-2 (obedience to authorized persons directing traffic), the crossing guards have the power of authority to control automobile and other vehicular traffic, as well as pedestrians at all locations.
“To be a district ‘Committed to High Performance’ means to be a school district where the well-being of students is the first priority in every decision that has to be made,” said Superintendent Morcease Beasley. “As a school system, we have a duty to ensure student safety. I applaud the Board of Education for its approval. I commend Chief Trawick and his staff for their hard work in securing the resources needed to make sure that as students travel to, arrive at and depart from our campuses, they are doing so under the supervision of well trained and qualified crossing guards.”
Under the previous agreement with the Clayton County Police Department, the district utilized 40 crossing guards and two supervisors to cover 46 crossing sites. In an effort to more efficiently support students, the district added an additional 19 sites to the previous allotment of 42, which makes for a total of 61 sites with crossing guards. The additional 19 sites were identified as critical locations based on the complexity of those intersections relative to traffic congestion and the density of children using those crosswalks.
“We are ready,” Trawick said. “All of the crossing guards have been trained and issued uniforms as well as other items necessary to protect our students. We are excited to work with VSA and look forward to a great, in addition to a safe, 2017-18 school year.”
According to the company website, VSA was formed out of a deep respect for the dedication and commitment of the members of the United States military and domestic law enforcement communities with a mission to provide veterans with stable employment opportunities.