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Back To School: Utah Cities Facing Crossing Guard Shortage

NORTH OGDEN, Utah — Several cities are reporting a shortage of school crossing guards, leaving Utah children vulnerable as they head to and from schools.

“I’ve had reports where guards had to pull kids back because cars don’t stop,” said Tracy Preece, a special resources officer with the North Ogden Police Department.

North Ogden is just one city looking to hire crossing guards ahead of the new school year. Officials said the job can be a great part-time opportunity for stay-at-home parents or retirees — especially those that live near a school and can walk over to a crossing during their time slot.

“Here locally, it’s $25 per hour,” Preece said. “Half an hour in the morning and afternoon (for a) little extra cash.”

Police chief Dirk Quinney said the city is always in need of fill-in crossing guards because they cannot leave any crossing unattended.

“To have the assistance of a crossing guard is to not only get them to and from school safely, but to put parents’ minds at ease,” he said.

North Ogden officials said crossing guard applicants do have to pass a background check because they’re city employees.

No training is needed to apply, and North Ogden crews provide all necessary training after a crossing guard is hired.

During training, applicants will learn simple safety protocols, such as a crossing guard is always the first person in the walk and the last person to leave.

Among other requirements: Applicants must be able to perceive oncoming dangers, be age 18 or older, be physically able to hold up signs for an extended period and move quickly in and out of crosswalks.

Those interested can check with their city to start the application process.

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