Carpentersville makes plans post-crossing guards

Now that the Carpentersville village board has decided it will no longer pay $50,000 to employ five crossing guards at local schools, police are readying a plan to help kids stay safe once classes resume in the fall.

It primarily includes increasing patrols during school arrival and dismissal times — and those are dependent on officers’ workload at the time. The police department is already down 10 people due to attrition and only employs four community services officers — three are part-timers while another works full time.

“If the officers are available, they would be out there to monitor the situation,” Cmdr. Timothy Bosshart said. “The only issue is if they get a call, they have to go.”

Before the crossing guard cuts took place, Trustee Brad McFeggan suggested installing signs around the schools that show how fast you’re driving. But it turns out there isn’t enough money in the budget to pay for those, Bosshart said.

Another part of the plan involves repainting crosswalks in the summer to make them more visible to motorists and pedestrians alike once school starts.

“Other than that, there is not much more we’ll be able to do.” Bosshart said.

On April 19 in a 4-2 vote, the village board, which has funded crossing guards for 25 years, voted against continuing that tradition so it could balance the budget.

The emotional vote followed pleas from parents and school staffers — one parent even read letters from three students in which the children asked the board to keep the guards.

Four work within Community Unit District 300 while one crosses children in Barrington Unit District 220 on the far east side of town. Representatives from both districts have had their own financial challenges and say they still aren’t in a position to start paying for crossing guards.

“If there are going to be any crossing guards, they would need to be on a voluntary basis from the village,” Allison Strupeck, a District 300 spokeswoman said.

The Carpentersville Police Department runs a program that trains residents to be crossing guards. For details, call the police department at (847) 551-3481.

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