HACKENSACK -- Robert Robinson, a Deacon at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, and Jimmy Johnson, an 18-year crossing guard at Hackensack Middle School were both honored for their longtime commitment to the community at Tuesday night’s Mayor and Council meeting. These honorees were selected as part of the Council's Black History Month program which seeks to identify and recognize outstanding individuals in the community. 

After 25 years of working at local Ford factories in New Jersey, Johnson took the crossing guard position in his retirement and was recognized for his always-pleasant demeanor and dedication to what can be a dangerous job. Mayor John Labrosse read a proclamation for both honorees and said Johnson has enjoyed working with children as they “help keep him young” but also acknowledged the dangers of the profession.

“We need to recognize the important role of crossing guards,” he said. “It’s such an important thing that they do - helping keep our kids safe - and unfortunately, sometimes they get hurt.”

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"I have worked with Deacon Robinson on many issues and am honored to witness him getting his proper recognition," said Deputy Mayor David Sims. "I salute Mr. Johnson. It takes a special person to be a crossing guard and watch out for the safety of students."

Councilwoman Stephanie Von Rudenborg praised Johnson’s cheerful disposition when interacting with local schoolchildren on a daily basis.

“When I drive by to pick up my kids, I always see the kids engaged with him,” she said. “I’ve yet to see one that isn’t smiling.”

Deacon Robinson, who moved to Hackensack 50 years ago, was applauded for his charitable work in the community and with local and state politicians for the betterment of residents. He was particularly pleased to receive his honor the same night as longtime friend Jimmy Johnson.

“Jimmy and I have worked together for many years - we’re in the same union,” Robinson said. “It’s an honor. I want to thank you for walking, talking and doing God’s will.”

Additional residents will receive similar presentations at Hackensack’s next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27.