For more than 15 years each, Joaquin and Hermelinda Murillo have quietly gone about their duties helping the children of Santa Clara get to and from school every day. Now, the husband and wife duo are being recognized for their commitment and contributions to the community.
“There are not enough words to describe the dedication that the Murillo’s have shown towards the police department, the City of Santa Clara, the school district, and most importantly towards the students at the school they work around,” said their supervisor, Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) Community Service Officer Taylor Carpenter. “For each to have 15-plus years of service just shows that they truly care and want to make a difference in the community.”
The Murillos were SCPD’s nomination for the Safe Kids America’s Favorite Crossing Guard competition. Carpenter says the nomination is much deserved.
“The Murillo’s make my job easy knowing that they are going to be out there every day assisting students and adults cross the street safely,” said Carpenter. “Their work ethic stands out the most to me. They never call in sick. Like never! They are always at their post on time and ready to go. It truly is amazing.”
Joaquin helps the students crossing Bowers Avenue near Bracher Elementary School. Hermelinda is less than a mile away, helping the kids at Briarwood Elementary School get to class safely.
“I love hearing from the school employees and kids about them,” said Carpenter. “I run a program called Safety Patrol, and I quiz the kids…I always ask the kids what are the names of the crossing guards around your school. The kids at Briarwood Elementary and Bracher Elementary always know the Murillo’s names when I ask.”
For Joaquin Murillo, the work is rewarding.
“I like my work. It’s excellent for me,” said Joaquin Murillo with a smile.
For Hermelinda Murillo, the nomination was unexpected.
“It was a surprise for me,” said Hermelinda Murillo. “Little kids now are high school and college. Some say, ‘You remember me?’ I say, ‘Oh, yes.’”
Carpenter says it helps that both crossing guards have served at the same schools since they started working as crossing guards.
“Since they have worked at the same corner for almost their entire 15 year career, those kids grow up into adulthood seeing them and having that familiar face in the community is just great,” said Carpenter.
The Murillos did not make it into the final round of voting for the 2019 Safe Kids America’s Favorite Crossing Guard competition. In total, they collected 199 votes.
This is the second year SCPD has entered a crossing guard in the Safe Kids America’s Favorite Crossing Guard competition. Last year, Sutter Elementary School’s Carl Smith was nominated for the honor.