A school crossing guard shortage in Clay County is forcing the Clay County Sheriff’s Office to pull some public service aids in to help fill these positions.

“CCSO doesn’t want to have to use deputies to fill a crossing guard position, it’s going to be impacting the community more,” said Chief Kenneth Stivers with the sheriff's office. “The PSAs could be doing other things.”

CCSO is so in need of crossing guards, it's trying to sweeten the deal. The crossing guard hourly wage has increased by about $2 in hopes of getting new applicants.

And with distracted driving at its height, guards are needed now more than ever, he said.

“We’ve even had cross guards hit by cars,” Stivers said. “So that can sometimes show the relevance in what they’re doing. If they hit a crossing guard, they can hit a student.”

Stivers said it’s not only the drivers putting lives at risk.

“A lot of times when kids crossroads, they’re distracted,” Stivers said. “They’re looking at their phones, they’re talking to their friends, they’re reading a book, they’re listening to music…and they’re not paying attention when they’re crossing.”

CCSO said the best thing you can do is stay aware in and around school zones.

“The simple fact remains that if you’re distracted while driving, whether there’s a crossing guard there or not, you’re going to hit somebody,” Stivers said.

Applicants will need to complete a background check and training by the Florida Department of Transportation.

If you would like to apply to be a crossing guard in Clay County, follow this link.