PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Rafael Mandujano sits on an overturned bucket at the intersection of Ridge Street and Bowman Avenue, but jumps into action, blowing a black whistle and waving a pair of bright orange gloves when he sees students approaching.
"Helping the children is good," said Mandujano, 58.
Mandujano has been working part-time as a crossing guard for three years. He does a one-hour shift in the morning from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and an afternoon shift from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on school days.
When students from Port Chester Middle School approach the busy intersection, Mandujano said he makes sure they wait until the pedestrian walk signal goes off. Then he walks onto the street to prevent cars from makings turns on the red light while students are in the crosswalk.
Having worked in demolition for 18 years, Mandujano said he understands the value of safety. Years of doing the strenuous work caused permanent joint and muscle damage to his forearms and wrists.
Now he only has the strength to wave the orange gloves issued to him by the Port Chester Police Department. Though the job doesn't provide him many hours, he said he is glad to have it and understands that, "Safety is the most important.
Do you know your local crossing guard?
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