by Patrice Johnson
Pass by the school crosswalk at Elizabeth and S. Clinton streets, and no doubt you will notice quality new renovations. But do you know the story behind how these improvements came about? The backstory is as impressive as the renovations themselves.
Last June, Chief of Police Johnnie Torres, Jr. was approached by Girl Scout Troop 30731 about doing something to make the school crosswalk safer for students and to spruce it up in the process.
“The Girl Scouts first brought the idea to their parents,” Torres said, “who then wisely directed them to their community leaders at the Township and Village of Stockbridge.” When they reached out to Torres, they asked if he might know anyone who could help.
“I contacted representatives from the Michigan Dept. of Transportation (MDOT) and told them about the girls’ idea,” Torres said. “I asked that the intersection be evaluated to see if any improvements could be made.”
MDOT officials immediately recognized the importance of nurturing the initiative of the girls in the troop, he added. MDOT representatives came to Stockbridge on several occasions and met with community leaders and made plans to fuse two already-planned projects together with the desired crosswalk improvements. The results speak for themselves.
“This is so helpful in making our community safer for walkers, especially for children going to school,” said Molly Howlett, Village President.
“Credit goes first and foremost to Ellie Creps, Mia Wilson and Madison Rusnock, plus their parents Sonja Creps and Amanda Partin for taking the initiative to try and make their community a better, safer place,” Torres said, and he expressed appreciation to community leaders from the Village of Stockbridge and Stockbridge Township for their role in seeing the project come to fruition.
“I want to thank MDOT officials, especially Miranda Spare,” Torres said, “for seeing how important this was not only for the Girl Scouts but for the overall safety of our students and citizens who use this intersection to traverse our Village. What a team effort!”
“Congratulations Ellie, Mia, and Madison,” Torres said. “You did it!” He encouraged all residents to stay safe.