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City seeks crossing guard

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Police Department is looking for some help. Crossing guards at the elementary school have been a mainstay in the community for a number of years, and have received positive reviews all around. Now there’s an opening.

The position may be just right for someone with flexibility in their schedule who enjoys talking with kids. Fairmont’s School Resource Officer Mike Beletti shares some history of the crossing guard, and what is being sought.

“We cover five intersections around the elementary school,” he said. “They’re more of the high-traffic intersections. We utilize what we call our full-time crossing guard, but of course it’s not a full-time job.

“They work from 7:30 to 8:15 in the morning and from 2:45 to 3:30 in the afternoon Monday through Friday. Right now, we have four full-time crossing guards and we are seeking to hire a fifth, which would run through the school year from September to the end of the year. We also have four substitute crossing guards that fill in from time to time, and one of them has been filling in for us for now.”

Beletti says crossing guards are employed by the city, and the city is reimbursed by the school for all the hours that are paid out.

“So we kind of administer the program, but the school ultimately pays for the crossing guards,” he said. “What the police department does is we provide them with winter gear and rain gear, because they’re out there in extreme conditions. Once again, we’re very thankful for all these people that step up and help us out.”

Beletti noted that the guards are also a good help when it comes to reporting driving violations.

“We’ve gotten reports of texting violations because they’re standing right there in the roadway and they can see what people are doing in their cars,” he said. “There’s also other complaints, such as cars not stopping for them at a crosswalk and that is a violation of state statute. So we can, and have, cited for that.”

Another aspect of the job is the rapport built with students.

“The students get to know these crossing guards and build relationships with them as the years go on,” he said. “One thing I’ve heard from them specifically is that they just like to see these kids grow up and build that relationship. It’s just another trusted adult in the community.”

Beletti cited recent stories of a student who went out with her mother to deliver hot chocolate to the guards, as a token of appreciation for the work they do.

Beletti said there is no experience needed for the position, but there is the need for flexibility to be there in the morning and afternoon all school year.

“We’ll provide a heavy winter jacket, rain gear and a crossing guard flag,” he noted. “They’re paid at a rate of $9.90 an hour, and that goes up for every year they work with the school.

“We have a meeting prior to the school year in late August at the Law Enforcement Center. We go over assignments, but those usually stay the same because the guards like the location they’re at. The location we have open right now is Highland Avenue and School Street on the east side of the school.”

Beletti said those interested in the position can contact Lt. Del Ellis or himself. The phone number for the police department is (507) 238-4481.

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