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Gem of the Week: Sheriff Rost needs your vote for cut-throat competition

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)--A pillar in several communities throughout the Valley is receiving national recognition that many say to be long overdue.

Sheriff Bob Rost leaves the office for a very important call.....

“My whole career, I tried to make a difference,” said Bob.

Bob isn’t responding to a 9-11 call.

“I get to know the parents, I give them heck if they are late, the kids get out of school on time, why can't you get out on time.”

It’s a call he has been responding to every morning and every afternoon of every school day at Kelly Elementary for the past 13 years.

“He makes sure we don’t get run over,” said Kindergartener Addelyn Kuenzel.

“He gives people high-fives and cheers people up when they are having a bad day,” said 3rd grader, Max Geatz.

“It’s made a difference in my life--working with kids,” said Bob.

Known as Bob to the kids - his passion for school safety started when he was their age.

"To me it was prestigious being able to go out, wear the badge, carry the flag, others kids looked up to as a responsible person to help you,” said Rost.

Leading him down his career path in life.

“That’s why I went into law enforcement because of being a school safety patrol, that's something I wanted to do since I was in 4th grade and Im doing it, and I'm living the dream.”

Bob is credited with bringing a bill to the legislature back in 1991 to allow school crossing guard programs across North Dakota.

As sheriff, he's been the top cop in the county for 8 years - but as crossing guard... he's attempting to be the best in the whole country.

“I was kind of shocked, I don't do it for their publicity, I just do it because I enjoy doing it.”

Bob has been nominated by Safe Kids Grand Forks as America's Favorite Crossing Guard.

He's up against 54 others from across the nation.

“He's good at keeping everyone moving and knowing the kids are being watched getting to the cars and parents,” said parent Jericka Spanier.

“It makes it worthwhile, makes me come every day because i knOw the kids appreciate it, the parents--I appreciate it,” said Bob.

While safety for the kids is first and foremost - Sheriff Rost has another reason for dawning the bright yellow vest.

“There are other kids who come up and say they want to be a policeman when they grow up to, they learn by helping people is a good thing

With Bob continuously flip-flopping between first and second place

“It’s neck and neck,” said Bob.

He is keeping close tabs on the voting - to make sure Frank from Ohio doesn't step into his crosswalk.

“I’m almost getting weird about it,” said Bob.

In the end - the winner doesn't really matter. He won the contest years ago - by bringing the program to North Dakota - not having a single accident in his 13 years - and winning the love of the kids and parents at Kelly Elementary....

“I don’t care if I lose, it doesn't really matter, I have this in my heart that I’m there for the kids, the kids love it, parents love it and we have a safe school in Grand Forks.”

After the votes are in - a judging panel will review the top 5 vote getters and pick a winner.

If Bob wins - Kelly Elementary gets a 500 dollar grant from Safe Kids Worldwide - plus Bob gets some cool prizes.

To vote for Sheriff Rost as the best crossing guard in America - click here.

You can vote at least once a day through the end of the month.