14 Division is looking to hire crossing guards after a shortage earlier this year.
“Anyone who wants to try it out should just fill out an application and send it into 14 Division," said Constable Andrea Tristao, the School Crossing Guard Coordinator for the Division that covers Little Italy, Little Portugal, Parkdale and the Exhibition Grounds.
Currently 14 Division needs to fill up two vacant positions, along with five to 10 spare crossing guards who can be called upon to fill in time to time, according to Tristao.
Tristao explains that crossing guards come from many different backgrounds. “We get retired people, stay-at-home parents and university students.”
For Judite Machado, it is the perfect job for her. She lives a block away from College and Bathurst – the intersection she is training to be a crossing guard for. “I had some time on my hands, it was a good way to help the community and, at the same time, make some money,” she said.
It’s a community-oriented job and helps with the safety of children, adds Tristao.
Crossing guards have to be older than 18 and be eligible to work in Canada with no prior criminal charges. They must also be able to verbally communicate in English and have 20/30 vision or corrective lenses.
According to Tristao, most crossing guards are seniors, which is why they are facing a shortage this year. “Some people from last year didn’t pass the medical exam… they couldn’t do it anymore.”
The hours are not bad she adds, especially for people who live in the community. It is usually 30-45 minutes in the morning, an hour-and-a-half during lunch and 30 minutes when school ends. About three hours a day.
Crossing guards are also given the guard vest, a whistle and stop sign and, during winter, a toque, an orange jacket and gloves for higher visibility.
For Corine Powell, who has been a crossing guard for nine years, it’s a great way to get involved in the community.
“I like meeting parents, teachers and students,” she said. Powell was in the customer service profession previously and enjoys the social aspect of the job which she says is similar to customer service.
After nine years on the job, she has learned a few things. “Eye contact is very important. If you extend more courtesy to the motorist you will get more cooperation,” said Powell. She also enjoys the outdoors, so the job is perfect for her.
Powell adds that, by working as a crossing guard, she has gotten a better understanding of policing. “It has given me a different idea of policing… it is not an easy job dealing with people… so I have a better understanding of their work,” she said.
All police Division are accepting applications to become a crossing guard. Please visit your local police station and fill out an application