Patrol Boys Picnic - Hammond, Indiana

Patrol Boys of Hammond at their annual recognition picnic. Hammond Police Officer Joe Norbeck
seen near the bottom of the ramp (center) with his uniform, surrounded by his Patrol Boys!

(Photo courtesy: Calumet Room, Hammond Public Library)


   Patrol Boys at Edison School


Edison School awarded the students who volunteered as Patrol Boys with a school letter with the
colors of the traffic signal
(upside down)


Two sizes of school letters were issued so you could wear one on the front of a sweater or jacket, and the smaller one on your sleeve.



  At Edison School, older students were selected to serve as Crossing Guards to help other children safely across the street.  The school did not have to hire adults to do this safety task, we did it ourselves and it was an honor to do so.

Plus, we got out of school 20 minutes early to get to our posts. Locally known as "Patrol Boys", we were on duty in the morning, before school began, at lunch (at certain intersections) and, of course, after school.  We did it in the rain and in the snow. In hot weather and cold weather.  All at no expense to the tax payer or to the school system.

We had crossing belts that would identify us and older students taught us how to roll them up so they would loop on our pants belt when not in use.  When our assignment was over, since many of us did not own a wrist watch, the Captain of the crossing guard would wave his arms and whoop and holler, giving a signal that our assignment was over. Then it was your turn to communicate that signal to the kid on the next block.  The daily screams and signals of Crossing Guards throughout the Edison neighborhood caused dogs to bark, squirrels to scurry for cover, and alerted parents that school was out and their kids were on their way home.

It was our first experience in public safety, responsibility, and chores that involved protecting the little kids on their way to and from school. Were we cool, or what?

Believe it or not, the national school Crossing Guard movement was the product of the American Automobile Association which started in 1902.  For more than fifty years, Patrol Boys and Patrol Girls, worked together to reduce accidents when children crossed the street as they attended our nation's schools.  The US Postal System dedicated a First Class postage stamp in their honor in 1952.





And what would a Crossing Guard Patrol program be without badges? Kids with leadership skills were asked to be Lieutenant, the one who would assign kids to guard intersections. Even this assignment added to your prestige and status. The busiest street, the most number of students crossing, all had a bearing on one's self-esteem. Badges were worn on the chest strap of the "patrol boy's" belt.


  Safety Patrol Boys at Wallace School in 1951. Teacher Bill McNabney is on the far left. He later taught at Hammond High School. These students later went to HHS and Hammond Tech. Do you recognize any of them?  

Roy Gullickson, a Patrol Boy at Washington School, is awarded his certificate in 1945.