All this talk of Homedale Elementary reminded my mom of Wilburn LeGree, "The Singing Cop" who used to visit schools all over Flint. She can still sing LeGree's classic ditties like "The Boys of the Safety Patrol" and "When You Cross the Street."
The State Bar of Michigan presented LeGree its Liberty Bell Award in 1999 and provided this biography:
"LeGree's career as the "Singing Cop" began in 1938 after a rise in rates of children being struck and killed by vehicles. LeGree was assigned to develop a school safety program and incorporate something that would grasp the children's attention -- music. The chief of police overheard LeGree singing and decided to put LeGree's talents to work.
"LeGree and his wife wrote words to popular musical tunes about obeying the law, safety in all situations and seeing police officers as friends. He visited hundreds of schools and sang his songs to children. Before he stopped counting, he estimated that he had performed safety songs to 25,000 students over a four-year period.
"LeGree's songs have been used in 46 states across the country as well as schools in Germany, Australia and New Zealand."