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Chief Wray's Blog

Madison Police Department Appreciates Our Crossing Guards!

March 21, 2014 9:49 AM

Spring has officially arrived (although it may not feel like it yet) and there is probably no happier group than our Madison Police Department School Crossing Guards.  Despite our extremely cold winter (coldest winter in Madison in 35 years), the crossing guards have shown up for work every school day with a smile, ready to serve the children of Madison.  This is an extremely dedicated, caring group of individuals.

While the average length of service for our crossing guards is approximately 5 years, we have two crossing guards celebrating their 25th anniversary with us.  Jim Kohl, who serves the Seminole/Nakoma area and Mary Franklin, who serves the Rosa Road/Old Middleton area are our most long-standing dedicated crossing guards.  Both of these guards have had perfect attendance for most, if not all 25 years they have been serving the families and children of Madison.  Also serving almost 20 years or more are Les Hanneman, who serves the Segoe Road/Mineral Point area and Ruth Ann Phillips who serves our Atwood Avenue/Fair Oaks area.

Ask any one of the guards what they enjoy about their job and they will likely say that it feels like they are part of bigger family.  In some cases, they really are family.  Over the years we have seen husbands and wives serving together, brothers and sisters and now, while not a first, guards are now second-generation crossing guards.  Our most recent hire, Ralph Stamler, who serves the Maple Grove/Keswick area is following in the footsteps of his father, the late John Stamler who passed away a few months ago.  John served the students and families of Midvale Elementary for 20 years before retiring a few years ago.  John shared with all who knew him that being a crossing guard "was the best job I ever had".  On Ralph's second day on the job, he contacted his supervisor to say "loving my new job".  That just happened to be one of the coldest days of the winter!

While spring is only just arriving, the crossing guard supervisors are already looking ahead to the next school year.  An individual who recognizes the importance of safety and well-being of our school children is one of the first qualities the Department looks for in a crossing guard.  If you enjoy working outdoors and are responsible and dependable, consider joining this special group by applying to be a Madison Adult School Crossing Guard this fall.  It is through classroom and in-the-field training that a crossing guard learns to identify and extend gaps in traffic with the use of a hand-held stop sign to allow children to cross safely.  Limited physical testing is done as well as a criminal record check is conducted prior to hire. 

The Madison Police Department is incredibly fortunate to have such incredible crossing guards that are so dedicated and committed to the safety and well-being of our children in our City.  

For more information, please contact Crossing Guard Supervisors Patti Knoche or Bob Olson at (608)266-4703 or go to our website: in mid-June/early July.

Posted by: Interim Chief Gaber

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