‘It is a great job:’ 1st crossing guard in Baldwin Park hopes her story will encourage others

Orlando needs 20 crossing guards

At 69 years old, Hazel Colson is credited as the first crossing guard in Baldwin Park, helping kids and parents cross the corner of Corrine and Common Way Drive since 2008.

ORLANDO, Fla. – One Orlando crossing guard is sharing her reason why she’s still working after more than a decade of service, in hopes of getting results and having more people join her ranks.

“Alright, y’all have a good night, I’ll see you in the morning,” said Hazel Colson as she ushered a few children and parents across the street.

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At 69 years old, Hazel Colson is credited as the first crossing guard in Baldwin Park, helping kids and parents cross the corner of Corrine and Common Way Drive since 2008.

“On my morning walks I used to see a police officer walking the children and I didn’t give it a lot of thought,” Colson said. “Then the next school year I saw signs for crossing guards needed, and so I applied.”

Fast forward 14 years later, Colson is still helping children and parents cross the road.

She says she became a safety expert after retiring from the banking industry and says you don’t have to look far to see what motivates her to keep going.

“I’ve enjoyed seeing the kids,” said Colson, “I still see kids that are in college, and they’ll come by and roll their windows and wave. Every now and then someone will stop, you know give a hug and we catch up with each other.”

Colson says besides providing safety, it’s the connection to her community that makes her job so important.

“If you think about it, a crossing guard may be the first friendly face, other than family, that a child sees in the morning and that’s important,” said Colson.

Colson hopes to get results through her story and inspire more people to join her ranks.

At this time, Orlando Police Department is looking for 20 more crossing guards to fill vacancies throughout the city.

“It is a great job for someone who has an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon and they can get out and interact with other people,” Colson said. “And it could be fun.”

Colson says while she does have fun, there are challenges.

“Don’t mind the weather, you’ve got the heat and the cold and the rain,” said Colson. “It’s just water, and I joke with the kids saying if they get wet enough, they won’t have to take a bath that night.”

Crossing guards start at $15.45 an hour and work a split shift. You must also be at least 18, have reliable transportation, and be able to read, write and communicate in English.

To find out more about being a crossing guard, head to the Orlando website.


About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.