Crossing guard shortage leaving many busy Cleveland intersections unattended: I-Team

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CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found dozens of busy intersections with no crossing guards watching your kids.

The I-Team investigated why and asked what’s being done about it. We’ve found out the City of Cleveland is 108 crossing guards short.

Just hours after we started asking questions, Cleveland Police made a public appeal for people to apply for the jobs.

That leaves corners all over Cleveland with no one helping kids avoid traffic as they walk to school.

The I-Team saw heavy traffic, but no crossing guard at more than one post along East 55th, not far from an elementary school.

A mom walking her son to school along West 57th noticed the lack of crossing guards and spoke of concern for other children.

“The cars just fly. They don’t really have that many lights to stop frequently. They just don’t,” she said.

“There really should be more crossing guards at these crosswalks,” another parent added.

A few years ago, the I-Team showed you an elementary school student seriously hurt by a hit-and-run driver right outside a Cleveland school with no crossing guard.

“It’s critical that we get all of the 108 positions filled,” City Council Public Safety Chairman Blaine Griffin said.

Year after year, Cleveland has some crossing guard shortage, but Griffin admitted this is extreme. He said it follows a national trend.

“People are having a hard time hiring everybody, from retail to manufacturing to even our safety forces. At times, [we] are really having a challenge recruiting good people,” he said.

The I-Team found another open position at busy E. 116th and MLK. 

We checked what the city pays crossing guards. The job description says they’re expected to be at their corner 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the afternoon. The pay is $20.50 a day plus medical benefits.

Cleveland Police say officers are now giving special attention to school zones.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District says, “As always, we have security officers and district police who patrol the school, school grounds and surrounding area. For questions about the supervision of crosswalks handled by crossing guards, we would refer you to the city.”

To find out more about the positions, call the Cleveland Police at 216-623-5080.

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