It’s back to school, but crossing guard jobs still unfilled in Kingsport

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL)- Wednesday morning parents in the Tri-Cities will send their kids back to school after the winter break, but we found out area school district won’t have enough employees to cover a key job that ensures student safety.

Public Information Officer for the Kingsport Police Department, Tom Patton, said as of Tuesday afternoon they still need to fill 6 crossing guard positions.

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Patton said they closed the application process in mid-December, and had around 30 people apply.

While they have those applications, Patton said it is still a long process to get those people to work.

“A crossing guard has to go through the same vetting process as any Kingsport Police Department employee, even a sworn officer, so its pretty extensive,” Patton said.

In the mean time, the school system and police department are working together to fill the gaps.

Kingsport City Schools Assistant Superintendent Andy True told us Tuesday afternoon all three of their school resource officers will continue to cover what areas they can.

With six open positions Patton said they too are still having to pitch in.

“Short of some critical incident we are filling those jobs with officers and pulling them off the street. We are hoping some of these 30 people who applied will turn out to be long term crossing guards,” Patton said.

Patton said they have also looked at privatizing it, hiring an outside company to manage these crossing guard positions, but said because of funding right now that option isn’t on the table.

Patton also said they closed the application window for crossing guards in mid-December, and are now focused on processing those candidate applications.

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