Vienna Crossing Guard Elimination In County Budget Draws Concern

VIENNA, VA — A Vienna Town Council member raised a concern about a proposed elimination in the Fairfax County budget of crossing guard positions in Vienna.

Councilmember Howard Springsteen said at Monday’s Town Council meeting that the county budget would eliminate the Town of Vienna’s crossing guards. That potential removal would affect an estimated nine positions.

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“No school in Vienna will have crossing guards for financial reasons, and I regard this as targeting Vienna,” said Springsteen.

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The council member said it was a county responsibility to staff crossing guards at schools and that the Vienna Police Department could not provide staffing.

“The Council has been pretty upset about this. People need to be aware of some of the issues that we deal with behind the scenes,” said Springsteen.

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Springsteen shared with Patch a December letter from the Fairfax County Police Department to the Vienna Police Department. The letter indicated Fairfax County Police would no longer staff nine Vienna locations at the start of the 2024-2025 school year. This includes two crossing guard locations at Cunningham Park Elementary, two at Louise Archer Elementary, two at Marshall Road Elementary, two at Vienna Elementary and one at Thoreau Middle School.

In January, Vienna Police Chief Jim Morris responded in a letter, noting Fairfax County Police met with Vienna Police to explain their crossing guard staffing and budget challenges. The letter indicated one Fort Belvoir crossing guard and one Town of Herndon crossing guard would also not be covered by Fairfax County Police next school year.

Morris said in a letter that Vienna Police cannot provide the staffing for crossing guards. The police department has refused previous requests to staff school crossings.

“These police officers already have assigned tasks, and staffing nine crossings during two of the busiest calls for service times of the day is not a realistic request,” Morris wrote. “If we were to attempt to compromise on this position, we would drastically impact the response times for police officers responding to calls for service within the Town, a service for which the Residents of the town pay additional taxes. To selectively target the Town of Vienna to withdraw services is not appropriate.”

Springsteen told Patch the Town Council has been aware about the issue and decided to share it “when it became painfully apparent” the staffing removal could go through.

Mayor Linda Colbert said she is working with Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, who represents the town on the Board of Supervisors, to get the crossing guards back into the budget. Springsteen indicated Alcorn is “very supportive” of helping maintain Vienna crossing guard staffing.

“Obviously we need to have crossing guards for our schools,” said Colbert.

The mayor encouraged residents to express concerns with the budget at Alcorn’s upcoming town hall Wednesday, March 20. The meeting is at Patrick Henry Library in Vienna at 7 p.m. Another budget town hall is virtual at 7 p.m. on March 25. Residents can join the virtual meeting through Microsoft Teams or call in to 571-429-5982 with conference call ID: 952 967 568#.

Residents may also provide feedback on the budget to Alcorn at or testify at the April 16 to 18 budget public hearings.

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