Parents say kids at Boca Raton schools are less safe after police department's cost-cutting measure

Posted at 8:09 PM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-25 11:18:55-05

Parents at one Boca Raton school are asking police for help. They say their children have to walk through heavy, dangerous traffic every day to get to and from Calusa Elementary School. Drivers often speed through and stop in crosswalks while children are walking.

"People are beeping their horns at the people crossing with children and yelling at the crossing guards with their stop signs," said Andrea Neill, whose son is a first-grader at Calusa Elementary.

Boca Raton police officers used to conduct speed enforcement near schools across the city. However, a department spokeswoman says that was stopped at the start of this school year as a cost-effective measure.

Now, the city uses a private company to handle the crosswalks. Crossing guards with that company say drivers don't work as well with them as well as they did with police.

"They just don't listen," said one crossing guard, Jerry Yarmalofsky. "They just do what they want....If there were a cop car here, it would be much different."

Several parents and neighbors say they've contacted police numerous times about the traffic issues since the start of the school year. Boca Raton police denied that anyone has called and complained about the problem.