East Lansing crossing guards provide safety at elementary schools

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Sasha Zidar

Crossing guard Sarah Murray helps an elementary student cross the street.

East Lansing residents may recognize P.A.C.E as the parking meter police. However, their job expands further than just writing up parking tickets.

“P.A.C.E is a division of the East Lansing Police Department and that’s how we end up in charge of crossing guards,” said Eldon Evans, P.A.C.E supervisor.

P.A.C.E is in charge of hiring adult crossing guards for East Lansing elementary schools. P.A.C.E is also looking for potential crossing guards to fill two openings.

“We’ve actually had two job openings for the last year and a half, so we’re in desperate need of crossing guards.” Eldon said.

Living in East Lansing also means living in a college town. So P.A.C.E has 20 crossing guards to help elementary students cross busy intersections safely.

“You get a lot of traffic on some of those streets like Burcham, Harrison and Abbot,” said Evans. “So you always want to make sure that you are taking care of the younger students.” Evans said.

Becoming a crossing guard is more than just helping students cross a busy intersection, it’s building a bond with students and parents that you cross paths with every day.

“I like being able to get outside and being forced to have fresh air and exercise and I really enjoy the kids,” said crossing guard Jati Mackimmie. “The kids in this neighborhood are really nice, polite and respectful.”

Mackimmie has been an East Lansing resident for 26 years and a crossing guard for 15.

“When I started, my daughter was pretty little and I was looking for something that I could work around being home with her and other part-time jobs,” said Mackimmie. “I live right down the street, so it seemed like a great job. I never thought that I’d stay this long … but you know, it’s just kind of fun.”

Mackimmie works on Burcham Drive where Marble Elementary School kids usually walk home with their parents or with other students.

“A lot of them walk with their parents, and the parents are fun too,” said Mackimmie. “It is fun to get to know people and to watch them grow up, some of the kids I started with in strollers are now in college.”

Sarah Murray has been a crossing guard for only three years. She sought out for a part-time job because her kids had grown up and she had missed the school aged kids.

“Now, with so many distracted drivers, it’s especially important because people really don’t pay attention and don’t give pedestrians the right of way,” said Murray. “I’ve noticed that traffic has, every year seems to increase on this road and I think more and more people live a little further away from campus.”

Due to the high volume of traffic during the mornings and afternoons, crossing guards are at different intersections to walk students cross the street.

“There is a lot more drivers and a lot of international students who don’t understand our road rules and a big problem with that.” Murray said.

To apply to become a crossing guard click the link below.


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