The city of Plattsburgh is working to improve how crossing guards serve the community by enacting a new training program.
City officials say the program was prompted, in part, by a May incident in which a video appeared to show a longtime crossing guard hitting a student outside Stafford Middle School. Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest said the incident highlighted deficiencies in the current training program.
The new program will require a background check, physical mobility assessment and a 60-day probation period. The training, which is set to begin next week, will focus on de-escalation and creating clearer communication between crossing guards, school administration and police. The mayor says the guard seen on video, will be able to return to his post this school year, once he completes the new training.
“We couldn’t sit back and say we notice these deficiencies, we see some problems, and continue business as usual,” Mayor Rosenquest said. “We really had to take a step back and find out where we could be better to provide this service to the community and to our students.”
There are currently 7 crossing guards in the city employed by the Plattsburgh Police Department. Lt. Jarrod Trombley said the department wants to create a “more robust program” for the guards
“Hopefully going forward, I can’t say it will solve all problems, but it’s certainly a giant step in the right direction,” he said.