Franklin School Safety Patrol

Franklin School Safety Patrol 2There’s no doubt that young ladies were attracted to those cool uniforms we School Safety Patrol guys wore. Not only did we have bright yellow helmets, Sam Browne belts and bright raincoats, but we also had the STOP flags that could capture the cute girls until you gave them permission to proceed.

Key post at Keller and Themis

Franklin School Safety Patrol 6Our patrolman bundles up against the rain falling on his post at Keller and Themis. That’s my 1959 Buick LaSabre station wagon at the curb (mentioned for the car collectors who specialize in it).

White boots and rolled cuffs

Franklin School Safety PatrolThis was the era of white boots for girls and rolled-up blue jean cuffs for boys. I mean, you had to buy them long because of expected growing spurts. Just like bikes were bought big enough that you had to put wood blocks on the pedals so you could reach them until you grew into the two-wheeler.

Not allowed to stop cars

Franklin School Safety Patrol 7We were strictly informed that we weren’t supposed to actually stop cars. Our flag was to hold back the kids until we were sure the street was safe to cross, then we would swing out flag out to reinforce to any approaching car that they were supposed to stop.

I did, in my role as Captain, turn in the tag and description of a car that failed to stop at the stop sign I had rolled out into the middle of the street. Whether he turned it into the cops or not, I never knew.

We took our jobs seriously

Franklin School Safety Patrol 5I am proud to report that all of our charges always made it across the street safely. Surprisingly enough, I don’t recall any of our peers mocking us for our duty. Maybe it was because we could sneak out of class early to take our posts. We wore our rolled-up white Sam Browne belts attached to our belts when we were off-duty.

Trinity and St. Mary’s Patrols



23 Replies to “Franklin School Safety Patrol”

  1. I had the honor at Jefferson school. Dennis Bowden and I were guards. I liked it because they let me out of class early to get prepared. I also was “Flag Boy” at the school. I raised the flag every day as the student body recited the Pledge of Allegance. Now that I think about it, I suppose these were the beginnings of my patriotism. I later trained as an infantry soldier. Great memories. Thanks, Ken.

    1. Where I grew up I had a good friend who was flag boy in 6th grade. One day while taking down the flag he decided to clip the rope onto his belt and he hoisted himself up. An after school bus driver caught him and turned him in to the principle. Bet it was worth it.

  2. I was a patrol boy at that Keller St intersection the day Harry Truman’s motorcade stopped at my stop sign and Mr. Truman waved out an open window before proceeding to Sen. Spradling’s house.

  3. I had to duty at Washington and yes, I remember wearing my patrol belt on my belt, but don’t remember having the flag. We just stepped out in the street. There were also patrol boys/girls on the busses. I think they were there just to take names of the trouble makers on the bus.

  4. I was a Patrol Boy at Alma Schrader for at least one year. It was the highlight of my elementary school career. I actually approached the status of “cool” in my own mind and also wore my rolled-up belt a self-identified status of coolness. It made up for the fact that I was not in athletics or any other cool things.

  5. I will never forget one day when I was posted at said corner of Louisiana and Themis … on the school side of the corner. I wandered up to visit with whoever was at patrol at the Themis entrance to the back of the school. The next thing I knew a crowd was gathering down at my post location. A car had jumped the curb where I should have been standing and had stopped on the hill up to the SW corner of the school. I remember an adult asking me where I had been and I told him. I still hear him saying “that’s a good thing”. As I recall, some changes were made to that posting location after the accident, but the details are fuzzy.

    1. Trinity had three posts: in front of school at Themis and Pacific, handling two intersections; at the northwest corner of the school at Themis and South Benton, and one in the middle of the back of the school on South Benton. The one in front of school had the most prestige; the one at the northwest corner had the advantage of not being visible from the school, so you could goof off when nobody was crossing; the one in the middle of the block was boring.

  6. What? No pictures of the belt the patrol boys wore? Need to see the official belt. Moreover, wasn’t this a quaint thing as in today’s gender neutral world they would be required to be called patrol “people”? “Persons”? “Kids”? “Patrollers”? Oh, no, sorry. This wouldn’t be allowed in the first place as it would discriminate against those who didn’t get to do it and would also be considered much too dangerous. Interesting what kids miss these days.

    1. You can see us wearing our official belts in the post I did about Trinity Lutheran School’s patrol. I’m pretty sure I scored my belt at the end of my reign, but I had to give my blue Captain’s badge back. I think lieutenants got green badges and the regular peons had plain silver ones.

      I won’t grind the political axe you are, but I DO wonder if they still have them guarding street crossings today. I’ll have to look next time I driver through a school zone.

  7. I was guard for several years at Trinity Lutheran
    Remember that the flags and “stuff were kept in the basement boiler room

  8. Remember my duty at Franklin well. Also remember very clearly (amazing in itself) when Pug Russell tossed me my belt in the first meeting of the year, and it had the “Captain” badge on it. That’s right, uh-huh, the head dude! That’s when my head started to grow along with aspirations to rule the world!

  9. Keith, you are right about Calvin Brennan in 2 and 4. Patrol Boy pictured in 1 and 3 is Chuck Watson, also in the CHS class of 72.

  10. Those were the early days of the women’s lib movement. In the ’68-’69 school year I was a patrol girl on that very corner. Remember where the belts, vests, and flags were kept? In the closet space behind the stage.

  11. Thanks for the memories. Just love reading the recollections of Patrol Boy Duty. It was a position to be admired. Yes indeed!

  12. I was a patrol boy at lorimier in 54&55 also at JR High ,7th grade
    I retire from police work in 2004,with 37 years,10yrs at Sikeston &27yrs with Scott County Sheriff’s Dept.

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