Port St. Joe Elementary School teamed up with the Port St. Joe Police Department to keep kids safe.
Last week, police donated a reflective vest and hand held stop sign to the safety patrol to ensure additional visibility for crossing guards. Police chief David Barnes and Deputy Chief David Garner presented the equipment to the school Principal Sue Gannon and the school’s preeminent crossing guard, sixth-grader Cheyenne Cole.
In September of last year the school started the safety patrol programs that allowed students to volunteer to help walkers and bike riders across a busy Long Avenue before and after school hours. Each morning Cole arrives to school several minutes early stays late all for the benefit and safety of her peers.
“A bunch of my friends ride bikes to school, and I like to help keep them safe,” said Cole, proudly brandishing her new equipment. “It’s fun and it taught me to always help others.”
The vest and sign were purchased with money from a trust fund that receives money from forfeitures and drug busts. Earlier in the year, police made a drug-related arrest and as per policy, sold the criminal’s vehicle. The $160 for the safety equipment came out of the funds collected from the car.
“We’re grateful and appreciative of the support we get from the police,” said Gannon.
In order to help with the safety patrol students must be responsible, be respected by the teachers and have a good relationship with the student body.
“The safety patrol teaches responsibility,” said Barnes. “I have a history of helping with crosswalks and I’ve learned that safety is important, especially when kids are involved.”