Clearwater in need of more school crossing guards

Pinellas County

CLEARWATER, Fla (WFLA) – With the start of school next week, Crossing Guards across the Tampa Bay area are training to make sure they get your child to school safely.

“You got to have a good eye on traffic to find out what people are going to do before you even go out,” said Tashira Rodriguez, a Clearwater school crossing guard.

Clearwater School Crossing Guards are training this week to get re-certified before the start of a new school year.

Norman Runkles, the school crossing guard coordinator, tells 8 On Your Side there are forty-one crossings guards right now, but they need more.

“We’ve had to go into our bag of tricks and pull out everything we can think of to get people to come do this job,” said Norman Runkles.

It’s not just Clearwater, other Tampa Bay area communities like Polk and Hillsborough County need crossing guards as well.

Runkles said Clearwater needs at least a half dozen more crossing guards. The pandemic is just one of the reasons they are seeing a shortage before the start of school.

“Right now, it’s a combination of a lot of different things. The pandemic has not helped,” added Runkles.

Runkles is hoping to hire more people soon, with the goal of having the new crossing guards on duty by October.

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