May 7, 2015 was the first ever Florida School Crossing Guard Summit. Crossing guard program coordinators, trainers, guards, law enforcement, and school traffic safety program leaders from around the state gathered at the FDOT Turnpike Headquarters at the Turkey Lake Service Plaza in Ocoee for a day of learning and networking.
The day was filled with educational speakers including:
- Jason Jackman from Walk Wise gave an interactive presentation on pedestrian safety which was entertaining AND educational. Jason is the Regional Safe Routes to School Coordinator for the Tampa Bay Area as well as a Research Associate at USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research
- Gustavo Henriquez from CareerSource of Central Florida was able to highlight some of the tools that CareerSource offers, free of charge, which can help agencies in their challenging guard recruitment efforts.
- Lieutenant Joseph Raulerson, of the Gainesville Police Department did an outstanding job of illustrating how law enforcement and the crossing guard community often see things through a different lens, and tips for both sides on how to work together effectively.
- Seminole County Sheriff Department’s School Crossing Guard Program introduced us to their Carl’s Safety Campaign. This is a program where they go into the classroom to educate the students and school faculty in bicycle and pedestrian safety. They gave a lively presentation that inspired many to try and start a similar program in their community.
Educational tables were set up by the Ped/Bike Resource Center, Alert Today Florida, Florida Safe Routes to School, and the Florida Department of Health.
Crossing guards provide a tremendous service to their communities, and truly protect the lives of Florida’s greatest resource-our precious children.