'More, not less': Concerns rise as NYC eliminates crossing guard jobs

Retired Crossing Guard Cynthia Edwards shared her firsthand experience at a rally outside city hall in Manhattan today.  

The NYPD is in charge of recruiting, hiring and downsizing the crossing guards who work across the five boroughs. 

"I really appreciate the work of the crossing guards," said Heather Dutton a Nanny picking up children from PS 89 in Tribeca.

In a budget decision for fiscal year 2024, which starts July 1st for New York City.

483 vacant crossing guard positions have been eliminated according to an NYPD spokesperson who said in a statement to Fox 5 News: 

The message at this rally from the union representing the crossing guards is that more is needed, not less.

"We are talking about our precious children here," said Local 372 & DC 37 President Shaun D. Francois I. 

City officials tell Fox 5 News that open positions still exist but are not being filled and reducing vacant positions is a budgeting strategy.  

In a statement a City Hall spokesperson said: 

"There is a national labor shortage and that is making it harder for lots of people to hire. We always are working to fill positions, but removing vacancies is an efficient way to achieve savings. As with any agency, if the NYPD fills all budgeted positions for crossing guards, we will work with them to increase capacity."