The New York City Police Department is now hiring—crossing guards, that is.
On an evening when Community Board 10 – whose catchment area includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton — had planned to vote to put a request for more crossing guards near local schools in writing, Assistant Chief Steven Powers was on hand to lead board members in the Pledge of Allegiance, after which he offered some good news.
“As luck would have it, I think it was last Thursday, I was down at the Chief of Patrol’s office and, evidently, some money came across from the budget,” he told the board, “so now they’re telling me to go out and recruit school crossing guards.” Powers is commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South which includes the 68th Precinct where parents have been complaining about a shortage of crossing guards.
Board 10—which encompasses parts of school district 20—has been down about 10 guards.
“Hopefully every school in Community Board 10 will have a school crossing guard very soon as long as we can fill the position with the right person,” Powers said.
According to Powers—who has given 68th Precinct Captain Raymond Festino the go-ahead to start recruiting—the position has its perks.
“I know on a cold day, it’s cold,” Powers said, “but there are nice benefits. For a stay-at-home mom or a stay-at-home dad, it’s probably a pretty good job, especially if you have kids in the school.”
The following evening, at the 68th Precinct Community Council’s monthly meeting, local student Preston Ferraiuolo took to the podium to express his gratitude for the funding.
“We finally have a crossing guard at my school at 65th Street and 12th Avenue,” said the I.S. 187 student. “It’s really dangerous there. I’m happy we have a crossing guard to help me stay safe when I cross 65th Street.”
“Please spread the word,” Powers said. “We’re hiring.”