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Los Gatos Union School District Restores Officer Position

Shared funding brings back $25,000 position eliminated as cost saving measure; officer will oversee two new crossing guards LG Boulevard at Kennedy Road and Shannon Road at Cherry Blossom.

has been restored for the 2012-13 school year.

trustees voted unanimously on July 12 to bring back the position, which will manage the district's crossing guards and add two such safety personnel at Los Gatos Boulevard at Kennedy Road and Shannon Road at Cherry Blossom.

The school resource officer position will be funded by the LGUSD, the and the at a cost of $25,000.

The LGUSD will pay $17,310 for the the additional crossing guards, trustees said.

In a July 9 letter written by Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Chief Scott Seaman to LGUSD Superintendent Diana Abbati about the shared-funding agreement for the school resource officer, the Chief proposed that the school resource officer be the point of contact for management of the crossing guard program, whose funding was increased by $17,310 to have the two new guards.

Chief Seaman explained in his letter that the school resource officer acts as a law enforcement officer and counselor, maintaining a safe and secure environment on the school campus which serves as a means of preventing criminal activities and disturbances and as a counselor establishing a more complete liaison with school personnel and students to prevent juvenile delinquency.

"It's our belief that the public, and both of our organizations, would benefit from having a single point of contact if there are any future questions/concerns with individual crossing guard locations," Seaman said in the letter.

The Chief also said that the efforts of the Safe Routes to School group have been successful in getting students to bike and walk to school and that the success has also brought increased concerns about pedestrian safety on the town's busy roadways.

The Chief said both the police department and the district have received multiple calls from the public requesting extra crossing guard services around town and specifically at Los Gatos Boulevard at Kennedy Road and Shannon Road at Cherry Blossom.

Last April, the Chief said he directed staff to conduct a pedestrian count at those two locations during the typical morning walking times for students, between 7:40 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., and the results showed that more than 100 pedestrians crossed each intersection in less than an hour. Those numbers were significantly higher than pedestrian counts done at intersections which already have crossing guards assigned to them.

The new addition means crossing guard services to students in the morning and afternoons substantially increasing the safety of the walking public, the Chief said.

Jim Thrall July 30, 2012 at 04:17 PM
This is great news. Combined with having CASSY as a counseling resource in Fisher and (maybe) coming to elementary schools soon, this joint project makes a lot of sense. I am glad that the district can find and commit these funds to keep the kids safe coming and going. the theory goes, the more we can do to prevent problems, the less we have to spend intervening with them later.
Parthenia M. Hicks July 30, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I'm always amazed that we can become so buried in politics that we can't see the bigger picture. Should there ever be a doubt about protecting our children?
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) July 30, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Hi Jim and Parthenia, thank you for the comments. Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police Sgt. Steve Walpole said at the start of the school year that the department and the school districts also have a long-standing partnership to ensure 10 high-use intersections are manned by crossing guards. With these two added crossing guards, I believe we've raised the level of safety for the most congested intersections in town. Walpole has said the busiest intersections in the Los Gatos are near Daves Avenue Elementary School (Daves Avenue at Poppy Lane), Raymond J. Fisher Middle School (Blossom Hill and Roberts East), Los Gatos High School (East Main Street at Jackson) and Louise Van Meter Elementary School (Nino Avenue at Los Gatos Boulevard). Can't believe school starts in three weeks!
Jane Darwin July 31, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Having a good.relationship with an office and with the local police is so important. Most students will see the officer as a positive relationship and being able to as principal I found it really successful to be able to ger their take on what was going on on the campus. Oddly enough the crossing guard get an even better chance to really chat with the students and get a chance to read what might on be going on campus \even a regular officer might not have.
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz July 31, 2012 at 05:35 AM
I agree, we need our Officers took keep our Town in check!

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