Police chief asks schools to pay for crossing guards moving forward

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Manchester Police Chief Carlo Capano on July 7, 2020. Screenshot/Manchester Public Access Television

MANCHESTER, NH – On Tuesday night, the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a letter proposed by Manchester Police Department Chief Carlo Capano asking the Manchester School District to take full responsibility for school crossing guards moving forward.

Recently, the Manchester Board of School Committee moved the matter of paying the crossing guards back to the police department for time after the schools had closed.

Capano told the board that discussions had ensued regarding payment of school resource officers and crossing guards, both nominally within the authority of the police department but under the primary supervision of the schools.

While school resource officers were needed to safeguard the schools from potential vandals, Capano said the school department needed to keep the crossing guards in place even after the schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating that the crossing guards would be forced to find other employment quickly, making it difficult to lure them back if schools reopened before the end of the school year.

Capano added that he has been advocating that the responsibility for the crossing guards go completely to the school department for years, noting that the schools’ current oversight of the crossing guards and the “pass through” payments between the police and schools for the crossing guards would make passing that responsibility along more efficient overall.

He added that paying the crossing guards through the police department would hamper other traffic enforcement efforts such as addressing illegal parking near Crystal Lake as well as frequent speeders in neighborhoods near Lake Massabesic.

EDITOR’s NOTE: The story has been updated to reflect that crossing guards have recently been paid for the time following the school closures.