Milwaukee area cities scramble for school crossing guards after company shuts down

NOW: Milwaukee area cities scramble for school crossing guards after company shuts down

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The School District of Waukesha sent a notice to families Sunday that as soon as Monday there may be no crossing guards at some intersections.

The School District was notified by the Waukesha Police Department that the contract for the crossing guards is ending.

Former crossing guards for Wisconsin Personal Protection Services say they got a call Saturday night telling them not to come in Monday.

“I went what?" Dino Petrangelo said. "What about the kids?”

CBS 58 showed up at the company headquarters, but nobody was there. The voicemail says “due to unfortunate circumstances with the Department of Workforce Development, our establishment is shut down.”

Court records show the DWD filed two lawsuits against WPPS over more than $90,000 in delinquent unemployment taxes.

Some of the crossing guards stepped up.

“Regardless we’re going to be at work," Petrangelo said. "You know, the kids are more important than a job right now.”

WPPS worked with Wawautosa, West Allis, Menomonee Falls, Shorewood and Waukesha.

Waukesha PD says they didn’t find out until an employee let them know yesterday that they wouldn’t be showing up.

“It is unfortunate that the company chose not to contact us directly, or give us any time to man these sights,” Lt. Kevin Rice said.

So cities scrambled for solutions, including putting police officers, school personnel and volunteers on the corners for the kids.

Whittier Elementary School Principal Tahereh DeLeon filled one crossing herself..

"I myself decided to just take it on, and went to the corner to make sure everybody was coming across safely,” DeLeon said.

Waukesha PD handles the crossing guard contracts for the city. They said the volunteers are great, but that isn’t sustainable.

“We are working with the city on what  a long term solution would look like. No telling how long that would take, but it might take some time.”

CBS 58 learned Sunday evening that the Wauwatosa Schools are also impacted. Tosa Schools sent a notice to parents saying that Wisconsin Personal Protection Services which supplies the crossing guards went out of business over the weekend.

Wauwatosa Schools says they were surprised by the news and will be unable to staff the following intersections:

  • W Blue Mound Road & N 70th Street
  • W Blue Mound Road & N 112th Street
  • W Center Street & N 74th Street
  • W Center Street & N 120th Street
  • N Glenview Avenue & Saint Jude Court

Anyone interested in becoming a crossing guard for the remainder of the school year in Wauwatosa is asked to call the District's HR Department at 414-479-8954.

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