Nashville faces school crossing guard shortage - WSMV Channel 4

Nashville faces school crossing guard shortage

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Finnie Mangrum helps students in Bellevue cross the street every morning and every afternoon.

"It really is a great job," said Mangrum.

According to Metro police, it's one of the most crucial jobs at the department.

"I mean how important is it to protect our children every day they go to school - walking to and from, and not just getting them across the street, but really supervising the fact that no one tries to hurt them," said Sgt. Mark Denton.

Right now, though, Metro police have a major shortage. They need to fill 30 crossing guard positions fast.

The problem is that the jobs are part time, and not everyone is looking for that type of work.

"Today's economy, people are looking to get full-time jobs, more hours," said Denton.

This year crossing guard Tonya Dunlap was working her post when a mom came screaming, "my kid is having a heart attack."

Dunlap stopped, performed CPR, then got right back to it.

"She helped the lady out. She saved her life, went back to her post, and started directing traffic. Just another day at work to her," said Denton.

It's only a couple of hours a day, Monday through Friday, summers off, no health benefits, $9.79 per hour, and for Mangrum a chance, not just to keep children safe, but also to make a difference.

"I have this one child, her mom drives her through here every morning, and she's always waving at me. A couple weeks ago she stopped and she had drawn me a picture, and it was of their van going by and it was of me waving to her. And on it she wrote, 'I love waving to you every morning,' so I have it on my refrigerator with the pictures from my grandchildren," said Mangrum.

You must be 18 years old to apply and the application process involves serious background checks.

The job includes some paid holidays and a $500 bonus each year.

To apply visit www.nashville.gov.

You can also apply by appointment at Metro South East located at 1417 Murfreesboro Rd. in Nashville. The number is 615-862 7752.

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