School crossing guard retires after 37 years

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After 37 years of service as a crossing guard with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Carla Smith has retired.

Thursday was Smith's last day of work at her post at the intersection of Barnes Road and Betty Ann Lane, near Englewood Elementary School.

Smith says some parents who cross at the intersection now with their children crossed there years ago under her watchful eye when they were children.

She says she's there for more than just their safety.

"They have stories to tell me through the years," Smith said. "Some cry, and I always have Kleenex in my car and bandages in my pocketbook. If they happen to fall, I have a bandage to put on."

Smith said she had been thinking about retirement, and after the start of this new school year, made her decision.

Smith says she turns 77 next week and is looking forward to spending quality time with her husband, but says she will miss the children.

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