Meet your neighborhood road safety stewards!
These neon-clad crossing guards are responsible for ushering kids across streets and easing traffic around schools in the morning, during lunch time, and at the end of the day, all for a grand hourly starting wage of $9.88. The 78th Precinct is checking up on Park Slope’s path minders to make sure they are doing their jobs properly, so we checked in with crosswalk sentinels across the borough for their take on the audit and insight into how it feels to be a kid shepherd.
Here are a handful of the Brooklynites dedicated to keeping neighborhood streets hazard-free.
Carolyn Tuggle, Park Slope
From: Boerum Hill
Her post: PS 282 on Lincoln Place between Fifth and Sixth avenues
Time as a crossing guard: 34 years
Favorite thing about the job: “Crossing the kids and seeing their faces.”
Types of people who need the most help crossing: Parents and kids walking behind them who stop in the middle of the street.
Reaction to Park Slope audit: “They come check to see if we’re here every day, but we don’t get no help when it comes to the traffic.”
Jackie Miles, Boerum Hill
From: Cobble Hill
Her post: Baltic and Hoyt streets
Time as a crossing guard: 4 years
Favorite thing about the job: “I just like it. Some of the people are nice. Some are respectful. You get to know the people that come by every day. And I really like the babies!”
Type of people who need the most help crossing: “I mostly cross the little kids who are by themselves. They need someone to watch after them. And the parents with carriages, because it’s hard to see around the double-parked cars in the morning.”
Reaction to Park Slope audit: “When you punch a time card, you’ve got to do your job. I don’t mind.”
Mary Nelson, Midwood
Her post: PS 193 on 26 Street at Avenue L
Time as a crossing guard: 15 years
Favorite thing about the job: “The kids. I love being around them and helping them get home safe.”
Type of people who need the most help crossing: Parents who are not safe and cross against the light.
Reaction to Park Slope audit: “I’m for it. They come every morning and make sure everyone is doing their job.”
Jolene Mazzatenda, Williamsburg
Her post: Roebling Street and N. Fourth Street
Time as a crossing guard: 8 years
Favorite thing about the job: “I like dealing with the little kids. A lot of them say good morning to me.”
Type of people who need the most help crossing the street: “My priority is the small kids and the mothers pushing the strollers. Once you get past the sixth grade, it’s a done deal. They don’t want to listen anymore. I tell them their life is in my hands and they just laugh and shrug their shoulders.”
Reaction to Park Slope audit: “I think it’s a good idea. A lot of crossing guards take advantage of the job and come at 8. It’s not right.”