Plans To Hire Private Crossing Guards In Edison Put On Hold

EDISON, NJ – After a lengthy discussion and questions raised by residents, Edison Council last week tabled plans to hire private crossing guards for schools.

This comes weeks before school is set to reopen. The Council deliberated on a proposal to hire a Connecticut-based company to provide the private crossing guards, ultimately voting to table the plan.

While the Township makes alternate plans and deliberates a future course of action, officers from the local police department and crossing guards the police department retained will man the posts.

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The resolution was to award $900,000 to Crossing Guard Services LLC for employing private crossing guards.

Councilman Richard Brescher argued that certain functions should be the responsibility of local government an this includes employing crossing guards.

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“That we can’t get people is an unacceptable answer to why you want to outsource it. There are items the private sector should do and there are items the public sector should do,” Brescher said.

“A very simple thing could have been done – That we spend 200,000 on the police department to fill in for our crossing guards.”

Edison needs to employ 40 crossing guards for 53 posts. The Township spends $600,000 on crossing guards, with $200,000 going to the police department.

Councilman Ajay Patil said the Township encouraged more residents to become crossing guards, so they would be able to fill the posts.

“My concern with the whole outsourcing is firstly, the company is not based in Edison, not in Middlesex County … It’s all the way outside. I don’t know how they will be able to attract more manpower to fill these posts,” Patil said.

By hiring a private contractor, Edison will lose control over the employment of crossing guards, making them susceptible to quick firing and no job security, Patil noted.

“We need to look at more out-of-the-box solutions,” Patil said.

The township attorney suggested that if legally possible they could stipulate in the contract that Edison residents need to be given priority while hiring.

In the absence of crossing guards police officers cover the assignments at a significant cost to the township, officials said.

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