Date of release: July 27, 2018
Paducah city school children and their parents will see familiar faces on the streets around their schools this year, but they will notice some changes, as well.
Uniformed officers will maintain their watch during the morning and afternoon hours, but the Paducah Police Department no longer will employ crossing guards for the school zones at Paducah’s public schools.
Officers will strictly enforce the school zone speed limits, according to Chief of Police Brandon Barnhill, as the safety of the children remains of greatest importance.
We will have no tolerance for speeders in our school zones,” he said.
The school crossing guards for many years have been paid employees of the police department, not of the school system, as many thought.
However, in planning the police department’s budget for Fiscal Year 2019, Chief Barnhill and his staff were faced with a dilemma. During the department’s second budget meeting, Chief Barnhill learned that the department’s budget was going to be reduced. Rather than lose a sworn officer on the street, Chief Barnhill opted to eliminate the crossing guard program.
When the decision was made, Chief Barnhill contacted Superintendent Donald Shively and informed him. Chief Barnhill reinforced to Dr. Shively the department’s commitment to the safety of the city’s school children.
Parents may rest assured that Paducah police officers will still be a very visible presence as their children walk to and from school in the mornings and afternoons.