CINCINNATI -- Richard Ferguson always waves.
Ferguson, a veteran crossing guard with the Cincinnati Police Department, waves when it’s sunny. He waves when it rains, and he waves when it’s cold outside.
“The last three years I’ve been waving at everybody,” he said. “No matter what the weather is like, I’m waving. That’s what they love.”
Ferguson has been a crossing guard for eight years. He spends his mornings waving and walking next to people as they cross the street by Riverview East Academy.
“That is my job, to be out here for them,” Ferguson said. “So they make it safely.”
The Cincinnati Police Department employs 103 crossing guards, and they’re always recruiting for more, Lt. Adam Hennie said.
“It’s a big responsibility,” Hennie said. “We can’t thank them enough for the job that they do for us to ensure these kids stay safe.”
The police department is looking to hire part time crossing guards in Westwood. Applicants must pass a background check and must have a "serious desire for the safety and well-being of the children in Cincinnati."
Crossing guards for Cincinnati Public Schools students are more important now than ever. Last year was a particularly dangerous year for students. Between May and December 2018, thirteen district students were involved in crashes as they walked to or from school, with a heavy concentration of crashes in West Side communities.
Starting pay is $10.69 an hour for three hours each day. Crossing guards typically work an hour and 15 minutes each day — 45 minutes before the start of school and 30 minutes after school lets out.
But for Ferguson, it’s about more than just the money.
“That’s my reward right there, when I see that smile,” he said.
Click here for more information about becoming a crossing guard. You can also call Chris Simon at 513-352-2505 or 513-473-7953.