One of the most critical elements in our school safety plan is getting our community’s children to and from school safely. Glen Rock Police Department assigns School Crossing Guards at key locations to assist children going to and from our schools. In addition Police Officers are assigned to periodic enforcement details at our schools and in school zones. However, the number of school buildings alone out number the Police Officers on patrol any time of the day. It is impossible to have an officer at every school and in every school zone each day. We therefore rely on the cooperation of parents, students and school staff in providing a safe environment.
Adult school crossing guards, first established in Glen Rock during the early 1950’s, play an important role in the lives of children who walk or bicycle to school. They help children safely cross the street at key locations. They also remind drivers of the presence of pedestrians. The presence of crossing guards can lead to more parents feeling comfortable about their children walking or bicycling to school. While the primary role of an adult school crossing guard is to guide children safely across the street, children also remain responsible for their own safety. In this manner, a guard plays another key function as a role model helping children develop the skills necessary to cross streets safely at all times. The position of crossing guard is one of the most dangerous of municipal jobs due to slips, trips and falls, uncooperative motorists and crashes involving motor vehicles.
Thirty years ago, half of our children walked to school. Today, only 15% walk. As a result, our school zones are clogged with more traffic than they were designed to handle. Further, motorists are often in a hurry when they drop off or pick up their children and too many parents are not paying attention because of cell phones and other distractions.