ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Angels. That’s how Orange County School Crossing Guard Coordinator Bertis Negron describes her crossing guards.
She said they are special people who work to keep our students out of harm’s way.
With the start of the school year quickly approaching, she hopes people find it in their hearts to sign up to be a crossing guard.
Throughout Negron’s 36 years as a crossing guard, one thing never changed – her dedication and love for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s been a great journey,” she said. “It was the best decision we ever made.”
Negron joined the agency in 1986 and became school crossing guard coordinator in 2000.
She has witnessed the growth in Orange County first-hand with new schools, heavier traffic and more distractions.
As her final back-to-school season approaches, Negron is concerned about the number of crossing guards.
“I’m getting a little anxious because we really need people in the community to want to do this job,” she said.
The county is currently short of 58 crossing guards and they need a total of 443 crossing guards across 491 crossings to start the school year.
But training is well underway for new hires. The agency also offers refresher courses for returning crossing guards to keep children safe.
Negron begs drivers to slow down and pay attention.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said that too often, its office sees drivers who do not pay attention to pedestrians on the crosswalk.
According to state law, once a pedestrian on a crosswalk has walked past your car, you must stay stopped until they have cleared all the lanes in your direction of travel.
As children head back to the classroom, Negron’s final safety message is loud and clear.
“Slow down, (and) please look out for the children,” she said.
Right now, 18 crossing guards are going through the hiring process to fill some of the vacancies.
The starting pay is $16.16 an hour.
You can find the link to apply here.
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