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Some metro areas experiencing shortage of crossing guards

"Child safety is serious business," said Gene Russell, the lead supervisor for the Iowa Crossing Guard Program with All City Management Services.

ANKENY, Iowa — Crossing guards help children cross intersections safely to and from school every weekday.

But like other industries, they're experiencing staffing shortages

Gene Russell, the lead supervisor for The Iowa Crossing Guard Program with All City Management Services, said every year they are usually short a few. But this year it's more than normal. 

"We have 85 guards and we need about 30 more just to fill in the gaps," Russell said. "Late call-outs things like that, so we can cycle them through in alternate sites."

The shifts are typically an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. 

Ideally, the company wants someone to pick up a morning and an afternoon shift, but at this point, they'll take just one. 

Russell noted being a crossing guard is easy, but it takes dedication. 

You have to factor in how many kids are going to be crossing, the number of vehicles passing by and the layout of the intersection. 

"Child safety is serious business," Russell said.

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Sometimes crossing guards run into problems with drivers blocking crosswalks or trying to turn when the guard has their stop sign up.

"Crossing guards will be in the crosswalk, sign held high, that's the law. That is the absolute law. But yet some drivers will attempt to do that right-hand turn on red," Russell said. "And we will take that little extra step and put the sign in front of their car." 

The openings for crossing guards will mostly be at elementary schools sprinkled throughout Ankeny, Des Moines, Urbandale and West Des Moines.

To find out more information about the positions, contact ACMS at 800-540-9290 or click here.

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