Today is Florida Crossing Guard Appreciation Day

You’ve probably gone weeks without considering them… driven past them without a thought except when you have to slow down or stop.

They are the invisible warriors that keep students safe. Their suit of armor is an orange safety vest… their sword is a small, red stop sign.

They are Apopka crossing guards.dsc_0556

Each day, 13 of them suit up and head out to the front lines to help children at Apopka elementary and middle schools get to and from school safely.

Chief Michael McKinley of the Apopka Police Department will visit all of the crossing guards today to show his appreciation for the job they do. APD Sergeant Carlos Joseph is in charge of the crossing guard program and believes they are an important part of school safety.

“Crossing guards have a significant role. They stay at their post in the rain, the heat, the cold or in darkness. I appreciate everything they do to keep these kids safe. They do a tough job and often it’s in harsh circumstances.”

Safety is an important component, but so is lasting relationships.
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“The students see those same crossing guards every day,” said Joseph. “They get to know them and establish a relationship with them. They go to the crossing guards if there is trouble. In many ways, they are the first line of defense.”

Josephine Rivers is a 15-year veteran of the crossing guard program. The children call her Inga. Her reason for such a long run? Love.

“No matter what the weather, we are here,” she said. “I do it because of the kids. I love the kids.”

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