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Jan 22, 2024

5 min. read

While many retirees spend their free time travelling or pursuing hobbies, Linda Dowell has continued her dedication to the safety of school children even in her retirement.

The Windsor-Essex resident was recently presented with the CAA School Safety Patrol Program Achievement Award for her long-time contribution to the program as the regional partner of the Windsor-Essex Schools Safety Patrol Association (WESSPA). The award recognizes community partners who have made an outstanding contribution to the program.

CAA School Safety Patrol® Program.

The CAA School Safety Patrol® (SSP) program has helped keep students safe in school zones and on school buses since the 1920s. Every year, approximately 900 schools in Ontario participate in the program and CAA South Central Ontario (SCO) works with local partners, like WESSPA, to deliver the program.

In Sept. 2022, after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus due to the pandemic, WESSPA brought back the CAA SSP program with 55 schools and more than 1,000 Patrollers. Under Dowell’s leadership, WESSPA was able to seamlessly re-integrate all their program components and incentives. This included comprehensive training for Patrollers, bus operators, and local police partners in Bus Patrol and Foot Patrol. Special events were organized to engage program participants and enhance their understanding of the importance of school zone safety.

One of Dowell's notable achievements was the expansion of recognition and resources for Bus Patrollers. Prior to her involvement with WESSPA, the program, its events and awards primarily focused on Foot Patrollers. Dowell, along with a Windsor Police Officer, successfully advocated for increased resources and recognition for Bus Patrollers, highlighting her commitment to inclusivity within the program.

Linda has devoted nearly two decades of service to the SSP program.

WESSPA’s participation in the SSP program spans more than 80 years. Dowell joined the organization in 2005 and since then she has taken on various roles including Secretary, Treasurer and most notably managing Foot and Bus Patrollers.

“We recognize the vital role of community organizations and dedicated volunteers in ensuring the safety of children and pedestrians,” says Tracy Marshall, manager of Community Relations at CAA SCO. “Dedicating nearly two decades to supporting the CAA School Safety Patrol Program is a testament to Linda’s passion for ensuring the safety of our communities.”

For more information about the program, and how to help make school zones safer for everyone, visit www.caaschoolsafetypatrol.com

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