Officer Sivanich was the Minneapolis Police Department's School Safety Patrol liaison for many years. Tens of thousands of school children knew him for the safety lectures he would give each year to all the elementary schools in the city. The School Safety Patrol consisted of those sixth grade students who would raise and lower the “stop” flags at crosswalks. Officer Sivanich or “Officer Spinach” as the younger children might say, was well liked—indeed, he was possibly the only positive aspect of the police that many youngsters ever received. Back then there was one cop for all the schools. Now, police are at all the schools.
Recently, his obituary ran in the Minneapolis paper. Tens of thousands of other people like him, in thousands of other places, have performed many of the same services as he did. He was a civilizing influence, he made a difference, and, helped by his instructions, we never had an accident at a school crossing.