Finding the funds for crossing guards

UPDATE: The City of Jackson has released the numbers on how man crossing guards would be paid. Get more information here.

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – For several days WJTV has been working to find out if Jackson Public Schools will have crossing guards in place to keep kids safe.

WJTV first started looking into crossing guards at Jackson Public Schools back in August.

At that time, there weren’t crossing guards at every school.

At last check, the crossing guard situation is still being discussed.

Over the past several weeks, Jackson Public Schools and the City of Jackson have discussed funding crossing guard positions.

A spokesperson for the school district told us that they will continue working with the city to find resources.

But the city’s new budget year started Saturday, October 1, 2016, and we’re still unsure of how crossing guards will be paid or if there will be crossing guards at all schools.

“Whatever we have to do in lieu of or in spite of we’re going to do that to keep kids safe,” said Chief Lee Vance with the Jackson Police Department.

A JPS spokesperson says right now, Jackson Police, campus enforcement and staff will work together to protect students and JPD is in currently in charge of staffing crossing guards.

“We told people that if you speed through that school zone, you’re probably going to get a ticket. So we’ve had a presence in as many of those school zones as we could and we plan on doing whatever we have to do, in JPD, to keep our kids safe,” said Chief Vance.

One Monday, October 3, 2016, Chief Vance referred WJTV to the mayor’s office for more information.

So far, no response from the city.

“If we, as the citizens of Jackson, keep waiting for someone to take control or wait for someone else to do it, then it will never get done,” said Stephen Brandon, a former volunteer crossing guard.

Brandon wants to make sure students are safe.

WJTV first told you about him in August 2016 when he volunteered as a crossing guard at Watkins Elementary School.

In the weeks since we first talked to Brandon, he was transferred by his job and hasn’t been able to volunteer but he’s kept up with what’s happening and is most concerned with children’s safety.

“I understand budget constraints. I understand responsibility. I understand business needing to be handled but at the same time, the greater good is making sure that those children, that live in the neighborhood, that have to walk to school; to make sure they are safely getting to where they are supposed to be,” said Brandon.

JPS says that if you want to volunteer as a crossing guard you should contact the City of Jackson or Jackson Police Department so you can get the proper training.


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