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Hillsborough Co. crossing guards receive handheld whistles to better alert drivers, prevent COVID-19 spread

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 19:16:10-04

YBOR CITY, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is taking additional steps to ensure the safety of our kids and crossing guards as we prepare to send them back to school.

The sheriff’s office unveiled a new, handheld whistle, that they will be giving to all crossing guards in the county, in hopes that it will better alert drivers, while also minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

You can sound the whistle by the push of a button, and Sheriff Chronister says it’s louder than the whistles we’re used to hearing when approaching a crosswalk.

“I think it will garnish anyone’s attention, even if some of those drivers who like to keep their radios maybe a little higher than normal,” Sheriff Chad Chronister, with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

It’s an effort to keep kids safe, and also to keep the crossing guards safe from approaching vehicles.

“I’m always fearful that one of them is going to get hit, and we had that last year, and one of our great crossing guards ended up experiencing some broken and fractured bones because a driver simply wasn’t paying attention,” Sheriff Chronister said.

As well as from the spread of the current pandemic, sounding the whistle, and keeping their face mask pulled up.

“A lot of our crossing guards are of retirement age, and certainly even more susceptible to this pandemic,” Sheriff Chronister said.

The sheriff’s office says all 369 of the county’s crossing guards are getting a handheld whistle as they head back out to provide an essential service for families.