Question: I brought my grandchildren to school the other day to help out their parents. I couldn’t help but notice there were several children out next to the intersections and crosswalks wearing traffic vest and holding flags. I asked my grandkids what this was all about and they mentioned it was the “school patrol.” Could you tell me more about this? Thank you.
Answer: The school patrol has been around for nearly 100 years. As a matter of fact, I have son that is serving on the school patrol this year also! The School Patrol involves students between the ages of 8- 13. The typical patroller is a student entering fourth, fifth and sixth grades. If selected to be a part of the School Patrol, they will serve to direct and guide children safely across the roadway. The official School Patrol equipment is a vest and a patrol flag. The idea of the School Patrol originated with Sister Carmela of the Cathedral School in Saint Paul on Feb. 21, 1921 when the first patrolmen were stationed at the intersection of Kellogg Boulevard and Summit Avenue in Saint Paul. In 1922 the program was adopted entirely by the city of St. Paul. Earle Brown, the first Chief of the Minnesota Highway Patrol, felt that a uniform program of training and support should be created in the State and came to the Minnesota American Legion in 1935 requesting such assistance. In 1936, under a cooperative program with the American Legion, it was adopted statewide by the Minnesota Highway Patrol, now known as the Minnesota State Patrol. The American Legion started a statewide training program – Legionville (School Patrol Training Center.) The Training Center was staffed by members of the Minnesota Highway Patrol and qualified Legionnaires and support staff and continues today. Some of the children that become patrollers are selected to represent their schools at Legionville by the School Patrol Advisor of their school and local personnel. They will receive training and education to go back to their schools to help teach their classmates and work with their School Patrol Advisor. The School Patrol is a unique opportunity for kids. There is a lot of history and tradition with this program and I believe the students will gain valuable lessons of the rules of the road and prepare them for life as well. Traffic Safety involves every one of us, from motor vehicles to bicycle and pedestrian safety. As for my own son serving on his School Patrol, I am beyond excited and proud. For myself as a dad and a State Trooper, I hope that being good at one can help me continue to become better at the other. A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501- 2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, email@example.com).