Officer keeps students safe, traffic flowing

Published 10:16 am Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Marty Jackson made a decision 18 years ago.

Jackson, who was Winchester’s police chief at the time, was dropping his 15-year-old daughter off for her first day at George Rogers Clark High School.

Though there was one officer working traffic control outside the school on Boone Avenue, there was still a traffic jam.

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“The second day, I got out and helped,” Jackson said.

This week, he finishes his 18th year leading traffic control outside school, now Campbell Junior High School.

“I guess this is my community service,” he said one recent Friday afternoon as he coordinated the traffic flow between the parents in the parking lot and the regular traffic on Boone Avenue.

Jackson grew up just across the county line in Fayette County. He started as a police officer in Paris in 1977. He was hired in Winchester later that year and has been here ever since.

Jackson retired as chief in 2008, but returned to work a couple months later. Now holding the rank of sergeant, Jackson continues his self-appointed duty every morning and afternoon during the school year.

Jackson stations himself at the entrance near the track. His concern is more traffic flow than students trying to cross streets, he said. Those who walk usually come from town, he said, and return the same way.

“In the afternoon, you have more people coming out in different directions,” he said. “In the morning, I have to watch five different exits. In the mornings, sometimes it’s backed up all the way to Hampton Avenue.”

Every day, he’s there with his orange gloves motioning parents out of the lot or letting traffic continue along Boone Avenue.

Jackson’s service is critical for the school

“This would be gridlock if it wasn’t for him,” Campbell teacher Mike Anderson said. “It’s not like he was assigned to do it. Sometimes he’ll do it when he’s off work.”

Anderson said it’s a “little thing,” but Jackson’s efforts make life much easier around the school.

“When I lived on the other side of town, I never would have gotten it,” Anderson said.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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