Dear Community Members,
I have received a great deal of feedback from the community and your local Board of Supervisors members regarding traffic congestion in and around certain schools since the start of the school year. I share your concerns over the safety of your children, pedestrians, and commuters in these areas and have discussed these issues with the Board of Supervisors.
I want to share with you that the Police Department is taking action to address the immediate safety and congestion concerns at all schools. I have directed extra police personnel to staff specific locations in and around schools where traffic direction and control is clearly needed to support the safe crossing of children while maintaining a balance of efficient traffic flow.
In addition, our long-term strategic solution includes developing a plan to increase the job duties and training of certain crossing guard positions. This would allow some crossing guard positions to direct and control traffic, in addition to crossing children.
As your Chief of Police, I am committed to providing additional staffing at any school requiring support. We will continue assessing critical areas throughout the county and work closely with the community, including your local Board of Supervisor member, to improve safety for our schoolchildren while mitigating traffic flow issues.
We welcome your input. Your local district station commander and I will continue to follow-up on your concerns. Should you questions or suggestions please contact me.
Colonel Edwin C. Roessler, Jr.
Chief of Police
Fairfax County Police Department
(8/25/14) School Crossing Guard Trainings Underway
Mason Police District – Traffic Safety Officers are meeting with all Fairfax County school crossing guards and providing a “best practices safety training” this week.
The training is being held to update the almost 100 crossing guards on clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, as well as to provide new uniforms and equipment including new stop sign paddles.
Topics covered by the updated training include: proper use of the traffic whistle, working with school safety patrols, best practices on the safe crossing of children, a review of braking distance information and responding to emergencies. Guards are given opportunities to ask questions and discuss crossing issues they’ve experienced. Many of the guards have served their communities for decades, but have not had an opportunity to attend updated trainings. Motorists who are ignore crossing guard signals or comply with safety measures near schools may be reported to uniformed officers.
The primary job of the crossing guard is to supervise the safe crossing of school children, to and from school, including:
- To direct school children and other pedestrians, when necessary, to safely cross the street without unreasonable delay.
- To control vehicular traffic as needed to assure a safe crossing for school children.
- To deter school children and pedestrians from committing unlawful and unsafe acts at the school crossing.
- To inform motorists, through proper hand signals, that pedestrians are about to use the crossing and have the right-of-way.
As a reminder, Fairfax County schools resume Tuesday, September 2, and motorists are asked to be mindful of students in their neighborhoods and build in extra commuting time.
For more information on School Crossing Guard employment, see http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/jobs/school-crossing-guard.htm.