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There's a school crossing guard shortage across some Northeast Ohio communities

Lakeshore Intergenerational School
Posted at 7:54 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 19:54:06-04

CLEVELAND — There’s an urgent need for crossing guards across Northeast Ohio. Cleveland is one of three communities facing a major shortage as Parma and Akron are also looking for additional help at the crosswalk.

Alex Kocsis has been a crossing guard in Parma for the last couple of years working the Grantwood Drive area during school hours.

“I like to do it because I feel like I'm doing something important. I'm protecting people, not just children. It makes it an important job,” Kocsis said.

The Parma crossing guard says that he’s most busy in the afternoons, but he sees plenty of traffic in the morning.

“I hope they can fill the spots, for safety's sake,” he said.

Crossing guards make $11.04 per hour for three hours a day. They also get benefits and sick time. There are currently about 60 guards right now, but the city says they would like to have around 74 crossing guards helping children get to-and-from school.

“There is a safety concern with the shortage of guards, because if there's not a guard at a certain post and there are no guards because we're short, every once in a while, a policeman will be called out there,” said patrolman Brian Garrison with the Parma Police Department. “That is a little bit of a concern because it takes some policeman off the road.”

Meanwhile, Akron is also in desperate need of crossing guards. The job in the rubber city pays about $19 an hour. Right now, they’re looking to hire at least four more guards who are reliable and enjoy working with kids.

They usually have about 120-130 crossing guards on staff but have lost about 20% of their staffing since the pandemic started.

“The kids come up with nicknames for the crossing guards. That's how good they get to know them,” said Sgt. Troy Mineard of the Akron Police Department. “I actually know a guy that was crossed by a lady and then his kids were crossed by the same lady.”

Anyone interested can contact the Akron Police Department to apply at 330-375-2181. Even after the four positions are filled, they are still in search of backups. Once you’re approved and on the list, it’s valid for a year.

In Cleveland, the city’s police department needs close to 100 crossing guards. You can earn $20.50 an hour for 45 minutes of work in the morning and 45 minute of work in the afternoon. Medical benefits are also available.

Interested applicants may directly contact the Division of Police at (216) 623-5080.

Some employment requirements include:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must be able to work the required hours on school days
  • Must be able to lift at least 35 pounds (the weight of a small child)
  • Must pass a background check
  • Must pass a drug screening

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