NYPD honors school crossing guard who was killed at dangerous Woodhaven intersection in October

school crossing guard
Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Fallen school crossing guard Krystyna Naprawa was posthumously promoted by the NYPD to the rank of community coordinator during a ceremony at One Police Plaza on Thursday attended by her family, friends and dozens of colleagues.

The 14-year veteran was killed while on duty on the morning of Oct. 20 after safely guiding children across a busy intersection on Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue in Woodhaven. Moments later, Naprawa was struck by a turning dump truck that proceeded to run her over. EMS pronounced her dead at the scene.

“By all accounts, Community Coordinator Naprawa cherished her job as an NYPD School Crossing Guard,” Police Commissioner Edward Caban said. “She loved the familiar faces she saw each day, and she loved sharing warm greetings with all New Yorkers she helped along their daily routes. Importantly, she knew that nothing was more critical — or more honorable — than keeping our kids safe.”

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Following the fatal collision, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo supported the Department of Transportation’s move to install a right turn signal at the intersection to prevent future tragedies at the location.

“I commend the NYPD for posthumously honoring Krystyna Naprawa with a promotion and ceremony honoring her years of service as a crossing guard protecting the members of our community,” Addabbo said. “It is tragic that she was fatally killed in a traffic accident. It was a tremendous loss for her family, friends, co-workers , and all the residents whose lives she touched every day.”

Council Member Joann Ariola knew Naprawa personally, having lived in the same Lindenwood neighborhood, and the Polish immigrant would often visit her district office while on coffee breaks. Ariola will be hosting a street co-naming in her honor on what would have been her 64th birthday on Sept. 28 at the intersection where she was killed.

Ariola thanked the NYPD and the Mayor’s office for the promotion ceremony and the new safety measures police brass unveiled to protect school crossing guards.

“Today’s event honored the memory of Krystyna Naprawa, and rolled out a series of new safeguards to prevent tragedies like the one that happened to Krystyna from ever happening again in the future,” Ariola said. “We have to make sure that our crossing guards remain safe on the job — they are the first line of defense of our school children each and every day.”

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

School crossing guards will be issued new reflective vests, whistles, and 18-inch “stop” signs with six-foot telescopic, detachable poles for use at larger intersections and along truck routes. The NYPD will also expand the six-day training course for crossing guards to seven days and institute an annual refresher course for all crossing guards.

“As the NYPD honors and promotes the incredible school crossing guards who ensure everyone is able to safely cross the street — it is imperative to honor those we lost, like Krystyna Naprawa,” Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato said.

“In fact, last year I passed legislation in Krystyna’s honor to ensure that all crossing guards are enrolled in the Board of Education Retirement System pension plan in order to provide financial stability for these amazing workers and their families.”

The NYPD also announced that the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue, where Naprawa was working by herself the day she was killed, will no longer be a single-person post.

“The investment in additional resources for the safety of our School Crossing Guards, and the increased coverage at Krystyna’s former intersection, will ensure that the impact she made — on her colleagues and on our community — will endure for many years to come,” District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “We are grateful to Police Commissioner Caban for this posthumous recognition of a beloved member of the DC 37 family.”

The funeral of NYPD Crossing Guard Krystyna Naprawa. Photos by Lloyd Mitchell