Shortage of crossing guards reaches ‘crisis’ level in Moline

Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 11:06 PM CDT
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MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - Officials in Moline have two weeks to find more crossing guards for the new school year. About half of the manned crossings in the city are without a guard.

School starts on August 25 for the Moline-Coal Valley school district.

According to Police Chief Darren Gault, it’s a historic shortage. Communities across the country are facing the same problem.

“This is a very unique job. Right? It’s 20 minutes before school and 20 minutes after school,” Gault said. “So you have to have those hours availability to work that job and we’re just not seeing the people.”

While it’s a small part of the day, the role plays an essential part at 21 interactions in Moline, ensuring students get to class safely.

In total, they are looking for nine crossing guards.

“They are very important to us,” Gault said. “Crossing guards play an important role of alerting motor vehicles that there are kids or pedestrians that are going to cross the roadway. They also help corral ... children’s behavior around certain locations to try to make them cross at a lighted crosswalk.”

MPD has four priority intersections to fill a guard with at Hamilton, Logan and Washington Elementary Schools and John Deere Middle School. These see a high volume of children crossing every day.

Meanwhile, some intersections like 27th Street and 12th Avenue or 12 Street and 16th Avenue, might not even get a crossing guard this year as they sees a low volume of crossings. It potentially leaves younger students in a risky situation.

“If we can’t solve this, they will be unmanned,” Gault said. “[Parents] pay particular extra attention around these crossings that their children might use to either find an alternative route [or] potentially using MetroLink busing.”

Candidates would need to pass a background check.

The role pays $20 a day, which comes out to about $3,200 a school year. Gault said it’s a good way to pick up extra cash.

“While we try to provide them some sort of compensation. It’s not a lot of money,” Gault said. “It’s somebody that really has a love for kids in our community.’

Those interested can apply on the city’s website or in person at city hall within the human resources department.