OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Biana Parami and her puppy, Hunter, rarely miss a day to pick up her six-year old daughter from school.
“I come mostly Monday through Friday so five days a week,” Parami said.
And every day she sees a familiar face greeting her at the school’s crosswalk.
“She’s pretty awesome. She makes sure that we’re safe and we always wait for her,” she said.
On January 29th, the familiar face will be wearing a different logo after Overland Park Police agreed to pass over school crosswalk duties to a private company.
"When you have a private security company, it gives us availability to answer calls of service and be more available to the citizens of Overland Park,” Officer John Lacy said.
Officer Lacy said the department is the last major metro city to privatize crosswalk services. Although Overland Park Police will not be in control of services, they still will be active in the vetting process.
“We’re going to review each and every hire. Every person that comes onto this company, we’re going to take a look at them so parents shouldn’t be too concerned about something like this,” he said.
Harriett Taylor, who picks her granddaughter up from school twice a week, said the change will take some time to get used to.
“I think it’s very important to be comfortable knowing about the people that’s taking care of our children, that walk home or are being picked up by their parents on a daily basis,” she said.
But a change that Parami will be satisfied as long as her child is in good hands.
“As long as they are doing their job, as long as they are keeping the kids safe, school safety, that’s all that matters to me,” Parami said.
Officer Lacy said All City Management Services, the private company hired, will retain all current crossing guards as well as give them a pay raise.