School Crossing Guards Ask For Support - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

School Crossing Guards Ask For Support

Sandra Shotwell spends her mornings and afternoons making sure Memphis school children make it home safely. Shotwell says it's getting tougher to do her job as drivers ignore her regularly, "They're speeding and they're not paying attention, on cell phones coming out and not seeing the sign when you say stop they're going out like you're telling them to go out." She says some drivers even get violent, "My co-worker at Ridgeway Middle, she was spit on and she got hit last year. I got hit three times." Crossing guards work not for the schools but for Memphis Police. Shotwell says she's often asked for back-up, "We may call, they may come 2 or 3 days later and then they want to come out and just sit in the car with the blue lights on not doing anything." MPD spokesperson Vince Higgins says the department does what it can and that it is up to the crossing guard to make sure they get the help they need, "If they've noticed that there's a need for additional patrol units they can see their supervisor and they can review the situation and have uniformed officers augment them as needed." But Shotwell says it's simply not happening, "I need help, the kids need help, we need help." Shotwell says she would like to get the kind of support county crossing guards get. That includes a vest identifying them as part of the police department and a stationed officer. Sara Lewis with the Memphis School Board told me she plans to investigate this and have the district and police department work out a solution.
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