Crossing guards are in demand around Utah

Calvin Smith Elementary school crossing guard Maxine Christensen helps children walk to school in Taylorsville on Oct. 6, 2010. As the start of school approaches, crossing guards are in demand around the state.

Calvin Smith Elementary school crossing guard Maxine Christensen helps children walk to school in Taylorsville on Oct. 6, 2010. As the start of school approaches, crossing guards are in demand around the state. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)



ST. GEORGE — On Thursday, kids around the St. George area went back to school. But they don't have enough crossing guards by the elementary school buildings.

"Behind me here, I have an animal control officer who is crossing someone," said St. George police officer Tiffany Mitchell in a Facebook live video as kids walked to school. "We have various officers at different ones because we do not have enough crossing guards right now."

Several cities are looking to hire crossing guards

St. George is not the only city looking to hire more help quickly. Many cities have posted the help wanted signs by schools and on their websites.

"I've had reports where guards had to pull kids back because cars don't stop," said North Ogden police special resources officer Tracy Preece. She spoke to KSL-TV this week.

It's a part-time job, for only an hour or so in the morning and afternoon. Officials said it's ideal for stay-at-home parents, retirees, grandparents or anyone wanting to make their community safer.

St. George says it pays around $14.89 an hour. North Ogden told KSL-TV it pays $25 an hour.

Now is the time to be careful

The other thing these officers want you to know is that now is the time to really drive much more slowly and carefully in school zones.

School starts along the Wasatch Front the week of Aug. 16, with others the week of Aug. 23.

"When the stop sign is up, you cannot go through the intersection," Mitchell said. "And you cannot drive through a striped crosswalk if anyone is walking there, no matter what lane. We appreciate you guys being patient, being alert, driving without being distracted and doing what you can to keep all these kids safe."

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Mary Richards

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