BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -- With about a month to go until the new school year starts, now's the time to think about becoming a crossing guard.
While many are still trying to savor the final days of summer break, De Pere Captain Chad Opicka is looking to hire more regular and fill-in crossing guards.
“The ones we latch on to tend to stick around for quite a while so it’s rare we have multiple openings at this time,” said Opicka. “Historically our crossing guards work a long time, 10-20-30-years before we have retirements, but this year we have had a couple.”
Opicka said a crossing guard typically works about 7.5 hours a week, 45 minutes before school and after school with starting pay at $17/hour.
“We have 18 full-time crossing guards and have 2-4 spots we need to fill before the start of school year.
Green Bay’s crossing guard administrator, Ken Brodhagen, has to cover 42 intersections every day.
“We only have 7 relief guards and I would like to have 10 more,” said Brodhagen.
In Green Bay, crossing guards work about an hour before and after school, but get paid for 3 hours no matter what at $14/hour.
“Starting pay is $14 an hour so in actuality, since they work about 2 hours a day, they are making $21/hour,” said Brodhagen.
Brodhagen said the schedule is pretty flexible.
“I have never turned anyone down for time off. We have had crossing guards that go to Florida during winter and come back April 1 and pick up the job, so very flexible schedule,” said Brodhagen.
If you’re worried about the cooler months, Brodhagen said they have intersections that allow people to stay in their vehicle until they see kids approach.
Along with helping the students cross the street safely, Opicka said the crossing guards are also the police department’s eyes and ears on the ground.
“Having the same people at the intersections day in and day out, they build those relationships and they know when sally and Johnny aren’t crossing … so there’s really a mutual benefit,” said Opicka.
“I know crossing guards that have connections with churches and they get scarfs and hats and give out in winters,” said Brodhagen. “I know some, out of their own money, purchased jackets and gave to kids who needed a helping hand.”
If the positions go unfilled, local law enforcement officials have to step in to cover the intersections.
“While they enjoy it too, they are not able to respond to calls like they should,” said Opicka.
You must be 18 years or older to apply to become a crossing guard.
CLICK HERE for a Green Bay crossing guard application.
CLICK HERE for a De Pere crossing guard application.