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January 10-14

Following the Monroe Street crash, a Cherokee Middle School student, and his mother and father, wrote letters of praise to 68-year old Madison crossing guard Jim Olson; all believed he saved the child from being struck by a car last April 9th.

Olson was not so lucky; he did keep the child safe, but ended up in an ambulance after being hit be the car he had warned the child about. Our son is "positive that if you had not alerted him to the car, he would have also been hit. Your clam and caring behavior after the accident really speaks to your dedication to caring for the children you help every day," wrote the boy's parents.

It is because of guards like Jim Olson, that the Madison Police Department (MPD) is proud to, once again, participate in Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition Week, slated for January 10-14. This will be the 11th consecutive year agencies across Wisconsin have carved out time to honor those charged with ensuring safe passage for some of our most valuable and loved citizens: our children.

The MPD has approximately 60 adult school crossing guards watching over thousands of young students, every school day, at some 48 crossings. Most, like Olson, are post-retirement age, with the oldest being 82-years young.

"These are extremely dedicated, very caring and thoughtful individuals, who are very much appreciated by parents, neighbors, and of course the police officers of this department," said Chief Noble Wray.

Adult school crossing guards endure rigors of inclement weather, split-shifts, and heavy traffic, guiding young pedestrians, and helping them learn safe behaviors - lessons which will hopefully help protect them as they get older.

Following last April's incident, the student protected by crossing guard Olson wrote: "I would like to thank you for being my crossing guard and being there every day rain or shine. Your job makes the community safer for children."

The MPD appreciates the work of its' adult crossing guards, and invites everyone thank all guards during the week set aside for their recognition.


  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897