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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

This is Matthew Weinbrecht

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Photo credit: Matthew Weinbrecht

As someone who has lived in Rutherford all of his life, Matthew Weinbrecht knows quite a bit about this town and the people who live here. For the last six years, Matt has greeted students, parents, and commuters at the intersection by Union School and crossed them safely to their destination. Officer Anthony Bachmann explained, “Matt is one of my most reliable crossing guards. He is always on his post early, ready to work in any weather condition that the day throws at him. Matt is friendly with everyone."

This is Rutherford Interviewed Matt about his dedication to being the best crossing guard possible and what he loves about Rutherford.

TIR: What do you enjoy about being a Crossing Guard?

MW: Definitely, all the many really nice people I have met, from the Union School staff, students, parents, to the commuters taking the bus each day and all the people along Union Avenue.

TIR: What do you find most challenging about being a Crossing Guard?

MW: At times, the weather, the morning sun glare, and the traffic, depending on the time of day, Union Ave is one of the busiest streets in town.

TIR: What do you want people to understand about your job as a Crossing Guard?

MW: A crossing guard’s job can be very dangerous. We need to be focused and alert at all times to make sure that everyone stays safe.

Rutherford Police Department's Window Display at BHG Coccia Realty

TIR: What kind of training did you have in order to become a Crossing Guard?

MW: When I first started, I had on-the-job training at different posts in town with an experienced crossing guard. Also, at the start of each school year, Officer Bachmann holds a training meeting for all crossing guards.

TIR: Tell us more about your relationship with the Police Department and Officer Bachmann. How do they support you in this role?

MW: Officer Bachmann and the Rutherford Police Department are always very helpful and supportive. They are available to help, especially during rush hour traffic or if any type of incident happens. They are always seen patrolling Union Ave every day. Also, during the year, there are special events in town (parades, Halloween, festivals, concerts) when Officer Bachmann assigns crossing guards to different posts for the safety of all residents.

TIR: Are there any safety tips and reminders that you want to share with our readers?

MW: Pedestrians should cross in the crosswalk, drivers should slow down, stay off their phones and stop for pedestrians. Whether it is a person crossing the street or a driver in a car, please pay attention and listen to your crossing guard’s directions. They are there to help keep everyone safe.

Henry Lundqvist and Matt Weinbrecht

TIR: What do you enjoy about living in Rutherford?

MW: Rutherford is a small community. Everyone knows each other. I am a huge sports fan (Go NY Rangers) and enjoy attending the Rutherford Bulldogs sporting events at Memorial Field and the High School. My favorite places in town are Memorial Field and the restaurants and stores on Park Ave and on the West End.

TIR: Rutherford High School Varsity Baseball Coach and Teacher Mr. Carmen Spina told TIR, “Matt has a heart of gold and is one of the hardest and most dedicated kids to ever be part of the Rutherford baseball program. Not only has was he my student and manager he’s worked for Spina Baseball camp the past 10 years and has made himself a fantastic baseball coach!” What are some of the activities you have participated in while living in Rutherford?

MW: I was a Cub Scout with Rutherford Boy Scouts Pack 166. I was involved in the Rutherford Recreation soccer and basketball and Rutherford Little League. During high school, I was the Rutherford varsity baseball manager with Coach Spina.

"Even years after students have graduated from Union School and have grown older, they often go back to visit Matt and let him know how amazing he is. Matt is easy to work with. Anytime I speak with Matt, he is eager for whatever his assignment may be and is always respectful. I could not be more proud to have Matt as one of my crossing guards. Union School students, parents, and staff should know that a big reason they are safe is because of Matt, ” Officer Bachmann told TIR.
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