WAUKESHA -- As soon as Monday, March 18, there could be no crossing guards at the previously assigned locations in multiple communities in southeast Wisconsin, including Waukesha, Wauwatosa, Menomonee Falls and West Allis.
School District of Waukesha officials posted this message to Facebook Sunday:
"The School District of Waukesha administration was notified this morning by the Waukesha Police Department that the company that the city contracts with for crossing guards is going out of business. As soon as tomorrow, there may be no crossing guards at the previously assigned locations. The Waukesha Police Department and the district are coordinating to provide coverage at as many locations as possible. Also, the Waukesha Police Department is in the process of contacting another company to execute a contract as soon as possible, to ensure that there is not an extended gap in services. We bring this to your attention today so that if you feel you need to change transportation plans for your child, you have time to do so. The district does not have any further information at this time, and we will notify you of any updates from the police department as they become available.
If you have questions, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org."
FOX6 News reached out to Wisconsin Personal Protection Services. In a voice message, company officials confirmed the company shut down. Officials referenced issues with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
Police said they were working with district officials to make sure intersections were safe and covered for school on Monday morning.
Meanwhile in Wauwatosa, city officials posted to the city's website that they're in need of crossing guards for the remainder of the 2019 school year. The post read:
"It appears that Wisconsin Personal Protection Services, WPPS, the company used for crossing guard services in Wauwatosa, may have gone out of business over the weekend. This was very surprising news, and the city worked on a plan to temporarily staff most crossing guard locations. We normally staff 34 crossing guard locations.
At this time we anticipate being unable to staff the following locations:
- W. Bluemound Road & N. 70th Street
- W. Bluemound Road & N. 112th Street
- W. Center Street & N. 74th Street
- W. Center Street & N. 120th Street
- N. Glenview Avenue & Saint Jude Court
We are working on a plan for coverage for all locations for the remainder of the school year, but it may take us some time to arrive at a solution.
The city has bid out crossing guard services for the 2019/2020 school year. We will have a new firm in place for next year. In the interim, we will be attempting to hire either the existing guards or other members of the community to help.
We understand that this is surprising news and challenging for school families who use the crossing guard services. Please encourage anyone who is able and interested in helping to contact the Wauwatosa Human Resources Department and inquire about being hired as a crossing guard for the remainder of the 2018/2019 school year. Human Resources can be reached at 414-479-8954."
West Allis-West Milwaukee School District officials issued this statement:
"On Sunday evening, March 17, 2019, we were informed by the West Allis Police Department there were concerns regarding the company with whom they contract for crossing guard services. (The West Allis Police Department provides the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District with crossing guards and we deeply appreciate this service.)
We were told that due to concerns involving the provider, crossing guards may not report to work. In response, our parents and staff were notified that crossing guards may not be on duty Monday morning. They were asked to keep this in mind and take extra precautions as they brought their children to school.
The West Allis Police are working hard to resolve this issue. They plan on manning crosswalks until they have a permanent crossing guard provider in place. Deputy Chief of Police Botsch is available for questions regarding this issue.
During this transition, we are informing parents and staff that officers will be at the designated crosswalks until crossing guards are back in place."