"I love my job, I love the children." That's exactly what Jill Baker personifies when she's at the corner of 24th and Maine in Quincy in her role as a school crossing guard. From 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 and from 2:45 p.m. to 3:30 every school day, Baker is at the corner making sure kids get to school and return home safely everyday.
"You cannot take this job for granted. You gotta stand here and be focused. Be looking at children and especially the cars and the traffic signals," Baker said.
There are 23 full-time crossing guards employed by the City of Quincy and there are five substitutes. Every day those people watch traffic and watch kids at some of the busiest intersections in the city. Although they are at intersections adjacent to many schools, the crossing guards are employed by the city and the police department has jurisdiction over their control.
Neal Meyer is an officer with the police department and coordinated their schedule and their training. "They're the ones out there keeping the kids safe. Some of the intersections are very busy, left turn lanes, green arrows some of them get very confusing. It can be very dangerous for a child to try and even attempt to cross some of these streets without help," Meyer said.
Baker said safety is her number-one priority and that she wishes some drivers would stay focused on the road, instead of being distracted inside their car. She said the children she gets across the street everyday is the future and she's glad to be a part of that.
To all the crossing guards out there, KHQA salutes you on Crossing Guard Appreciation Day! Share your appreciation either below or on our Facebook page here .