Palm Bay’s First School Crossing Guard Retires

By  //  April 5, 2013

Fred Blackman Turns 91 Next Week

(VIDEO: CityofPalmBay)

BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – School Crossing Guard Fred Blackman, who has been on the job for 25-years, is officially retiring Friday, just before his 91st birthday next week.

Palm Bay’s first school crossing guard Fred Blackman, is congratulated on his retirement by Dana Packard, left, and Yvonne Martinez. (Image courtesy city of Palm Bay)

Palm Bay Police Chief Doug Muldoon recognized Blackman with a plaque and special thanks for his years of service at the city council meeting r Thursday evening.

Blackman was the police department’s first crossing guard and is credited with not only helping start the program but developing it and providing training for all associated personnel.

“He is Palm Bay’s original crossing guard,” said Chief Doug Muldoon.  “When he arrived three of us manned one intersection.  He took over and grew the program to more than 30 crossing guard across the city.  He has been a great asset and we will miss him.”

The retired U.S. Marine began his mission to help school children in February of 1988 after moving to Florida.  He is from upstate New York.

“When I came down here to retire, I got lazy and was looking for something to do,” Blackman said.  “I loved being a crossing guard and helping educate our children.  They are our future. “

The department’s crossing guard program began in 1988 when Blackman arrived.

Today there are 26 crossing guards at 26 intersections throughout the city.

In honor of Blackman’s service, the Palm Bay Police Department has arranged to fly a U.S. flag over the nation’s capital on Friday which is Blackman’s last official duty day.

The flag will then be presented to Blackman at a later date to thank him for his dedicated service.