TAMPA, Fla. (WTSP) – Video of a crossing guard in Martin County, Florida facing down an impatient driver took off across social media after the Martin County Sheriff’s Office posted it on its Facebook page. The female crossing guard was nearly run over by a woman deputies say was upset when she was not allowed to make a left turn.
The driver, a retired police officer from Arizona, was arrested for battery, and reportedly told deputies: “wow, crossing guards have a lot of power here in Florida”.
"It's definitely a dangerous job and they're out there protecting our kids every morning,” said Detective Larry McKinnon of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, an agency charged with staffing more than 250 intersections with crossing guards.
"That's the passion that these crossing guards have, obviously,” said McKinnon. "It's not going to be in any written manual that says you have to jump in front of a car to save somebody's life, but I think that's the passion of who we are, who these crossing guards are."
"They come out here every morning, they come out here every afternoon and they don't care whether it's raining or it's cold, what the weather's like, they're going to be there,” he added. “We don’t train people to jump in front of cars and stop it but I think that everybody, in their heart, has to look at it and say ‘is it between me or a kid?’ I think we’re all going to say we’re not going to let a child get run over.”
He went on to say, most incidents like the one on the video, never get reported at all.
“It’s probably more, so those occasions that never get in the news or never get reported where they stop that car just moments before they plow through that stop sign and hit your kids,” said McKinnon. “Had they not been there, no doubt there would have been tragic consequences.”
You can apply to become a Hillsborough County crossing guard by clicking here.