Guardians of Safety: Menifee’s Crossing Guards

Pauline Cramer has been overseeing the corner of McCall and Sherman Road for 13 years now. Day in an...

Pauline Cramer has been overseeing the corner of McCall and Sherman Road for 13 years now. Day in and day out, she faithfully keeps watch, ensuring children walking to and from Hans Christensen Middle School safely cross the street. She is a crossing guard, but she is so much more.

She is joyful, warm, and friendly. She will greet with you a hug and a smile instead of a mere handshake. One thing is evident: She not only loves her job, she also loves those kids like her own.

Cramer began her crossing guard career at a very dangerous corner of Bradley Road near Chester Morrison Elementary. There were no lights, and cars sped through the intersection.

Over the years, Menifee has added many stop signs and traffic lights, essentially making the roads a little safer. However, as she has observed, drivers have become increasingly careless and hurried.

“Cars turning right are the worst. They will turn right in front of the kids starting to walk,” she says with a shake of her head. Her job requires a constant eye and ear for cars and traffic, and has even stopped some near pedestrian collisions with a quick blow of her official crossing guard whistle.

“You have to work with the public, keep an eye on drivers, and make eye contact,” she says. The corner of McCall has become her much loved spot to stand, one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon, and she has come to learn the traffic patterns there and even the specific drivers.

With the decrease in busing throughout the district, Cramer has noticed an increase in car traffic, but a consistent amount of foot traffic.

There are 31 crossing guards at 25 corners around Menifee, seeing to it that children arrive and depart safely from school, but Cramer has been with the district the longest. At 77 years of age, she ascertains she will keep doing it until she can’t anymore.

“The kids have said when I can’t do it anymore, they’ll hold the sign for me, and I can just blow the whistle,” she laughs and continues, “Every single one of these kids are special. They are the reason I get up every morning.”

She truly cares about their safety and has even requested on numerous occasions for the city to put in a sidewalk along McCall from Hillpointe down to the freeway. There is currently no sidewalk or even a shoulder. Children riding their bikes must drag them through the dirt and when it rains they have to navigate a