The Dania Safety Patrol program exist to assist young children while crossing busy intersections when walking to and from school. The goal of these programs is to significantly reduce the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Adult leaders also work to provide training and classroom safety and supervise student groups on patrol.
Safety patrols at elementary schools are selected from fifth grade students at the end of the preceding school year. Students are selected by teachers, principals and patrol sponsors. In some cases, students must complete an application during the spring preceding the year they will serve, to be selected to serve on the safety patrol. They must exhibit responsibility, academic achievement, commitment and good attitude toward others. Each school site will determine how many posts they will need for the year.
School safety patrol trainees are usually chosen before school ends the year before starting at their post. They will have at least two weeks of "on the job" training with current patrol members where they will shadow them and see what the responsibilities are. When the training period is over and the trainee is able to demonstrate the ability and confidence to take over, the new patrol will take over the post. In many cases, new patrols take over before the school year ends.
Patrols are given specific instructions on how to assist pedestrians. Students are assigned positions where they are to encourage and remind students to exhibit good safety habits at all times. All patrol members should be in place at their designated position at least 5 minutes before students will be arriving. Patrols must stand one step back from the curb, facing the street. Many patrols have a red staff that is held horizontally to keep people back. When patrol leaders signal that it is safe to cross, patrols drop the staff down to indicate that pedestrians may cross. Patrols remain in position until all students have safely crossed the street.
The safety patrol staff leader and a member of lawenforcement hold meetings twice a month with students. These meetings are held to support students by answering questions about procedures and give accolades to those who are doing well. Performance awards are given during the meetings, as well.
Safety Patrol Camp
Many local safety programs provide a police-sponsored summer camp for safety patrol members. The camps provide recreational activities as well as leadership training activities for students. Funding for the camps varies from school to school.