Guardian Angels: Boon or Bane?

tshadowchaser

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sounds ( from the interview) like they have changed for the better over the years.
Personaly I still have a problem with street enforcers but if they are truely helping the community then Good for them
 

searcher

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I think that they are like most groups, they have both good and bad elements. If they can help, then I am all for it. If they make things worse, they need to go away.

I have a feeling that they draw in a quite a few thugs and many of those get themselves to gether. I am not sure why they can be considered anything but vigilantes.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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I am not sure why they can be considered anything but vigilantes.

Well, traditionally, vigilantes took the law into their own hands, both detecting law-breaking and meting out justice. If the GA's actually simply hold suspected law-breakers for the police, that's not really meting out justice, is it?

And if the GA's are vigilantes, what are neighborhood watch associations?

If I see a person breaking the law, should I take action? What if I'm with someone else and we both take action? What if I walk around my neighborhood intentionally looking for problems?

I'm reminded of a long time ago when I lived in an apartment complex in Denver and my truck got broken into - my Alpine stereo equipment got stolen. They even got the amplifiers out, and I had bolted them to the floorpan, they ripped out my seats to get to them. They busted out my passenger window - and nobody saw nothin', of course.

Would I have been out of line to walk around my parking lot at night looking for people breaking into cars?
 

still learning

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Hello, Groups like the Guardian Angels, Neighborhood watch programs, and the many others...is a right step to help protect the innocent people. ( NO organization is perfect?).....OK

Have you notice..many public parks and beaches (bad design in parking)...help the bad guys hide...when you leave your car...then steal all your stuffs...

Maybe some form of volunteers security services (cell phones) and mark magnet signs- visial detertants, for high crimes parks?

Aloha,

PS: unless the people get involved? (cell phones)....NOTHING else will help?
 

ATC

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I am not sure why they can be considered anything but vigilantes.
They use to be. I am a product of the mid 60's and during my preteen and teen years I had a few cousins that were part of the GA's.

They lived in NY and were street tuff. I was a boy from a small town in PA and when we visited my Aunt and Uncle in NY my cousin's took me out with them a couple of times. I have never been as scared as I was during these times. I had no clue as to where I was but the neighborhoods were scary. I saw my cousins and fellow GA members at the time beat up some so called thugs in the name of keeping the peace. All I can tell you is that I was scared. They use to even tease and harass me by running and leaving me standing in a neighborhood that I knew nothing about. They would always come back, laughing of course but to me I was scared out of my wits.

No I am sure that there are good and bad in everything. And for every one bad member you can find 3 or more good ones. But it only takes a few to make the whole seem bad.

But today you don't hear of them that often. They seem to let the police do their jobs. They seem to be more like a neighborhood watch commitee now vs. what they use to be like in the early days.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I was a founding member of the Baltimore chapter of the Guardian Angels about 25 years ago.

We were trained (through scenario simulations) to only intervene when we personally witnessed a crime in progress. We were taught to hold a suspect for the police by forming a circle around him, but not to physically engage unless the suspect attacked us first or attempted to draw a weapon.

We were searched before each patrol went out to make sure none of us was carrying a weapon.

We were taught that we were there to help keep people safe, not to beat people up. One time in our initial training, our trainers asked "who here thinks he's a tough guy?" About half of the trainees identified themselves as tough. We were then lined up off in two rows, "tough" guys facing the "non-tough". Our trainer announced "Okay, we're going to do full-contact kumite. Fight ends with a knockout. Go!"

The moment one of the "tough guys" made a move towards his "opponent", the trainers stopped him. "What the hell do you think you're doing? You're going to beat up on this guy because I told you so? I can't give you permission to beat someone up! Use your head, don't just follow orders! We're not a gang!"

After about two years the Baltimore chapter pretty much fell apart due to lack of active volunteers. Part of it was due to internal political disputes, but much of it was probably boredom. I participated in a lot of late night patrols over those two years and the sum total of the action I witnessed was a) chasing off a couple of muggers that were dragging a guy into an alley and b) calling the fire department for an abandoned building on fire.

Given the number of chapters and members of the Guardian Angels over the years, I'm sure that some have been less well behaved, but my experiences were pretty positive.
 

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It sounds like they have matured into a positive organization, more of a mobile community crime watch program than anything.
 

Carol

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They use to even tease and harass me by running and leaving me standing in a neighborhood that I knew nothing about. They would always come back, laughing of course but to me I was scared out of my wits.

No offense ATC but freshman year some of my buds would do the same thing to our fellow students with an OMGIcan'tbelieveI'minacitybymyself look about them. (My college didn't have a formal campus).

That might have less to do with them being Guardian Angels and more to do with being young, obnoxious, and afforded a bit of freedom. ;)

Of course, I never took part in any such thing. :angel:
 

Tames D

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I participated in a lot of late night patrols over those two years and the sum total of the action I witnessed was a) chasing off a couple of muggers that were dragging a guy into an alley and b) calling the fire department for an abandoned building on fire.
quote]

Tony,
I'm a full blown supporter of the GA's. I believe in what they do. Do you think that maybe the reason you didn't get alot of action was because of your visability? Your late night patrols could have been a factor in the decreased crime. It would be interesting to know if the crime rate went up after your patrols stopped.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Tames, I'd like to believe that we helped prevent some crime, but realistically it probably wasn't a significant influence on the crime stats. At our peak, we managed a few patrols per week. In terms of hours spent, it comes out to less than the contribution of a single full time police officer. In the city the size of Baltimore, that isn't enough to make a measurable difference.
 

still learning

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Hello, If only more people got involved...like by the thousands...and not just young people...all kinds and travel as a group for patrols?

We can make an impact to safer streets!

All it takes is people wanting to be apart of "preventions" against crimes...

Aloha, it always starts with one....
 

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The best "take action" types are the ones that used their heads. These people get good descriptions, plates, etc and call 911. Perhaps they go the extra mile by following the BG from a safe distance while reporting their activities and then sticking around to point out the BG to the responding officers. What is really important is when they do their real civic duty by sigining all the paperwork and be willing to go to court to make sure that justice is really done beyond the arrest. There are many of the "we cant depend on the police" types that are also the "I dont want to be involved in the trial" types. All they are doing is feeling good about themselves. The best help IMO are the folks that are not going out there to "catch the bad guys" per se unless it becomes obvious that they have to act to preserve the lives of others or themselves. These folks are the type that are willing to get involved and help the system do what it was intended to do.
 

ATC

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No offense ATC but freshman year some of my buds would do the same thing to our fellow students with an OMGIcan'tbelieveI'minacitybymyself look about them. (My college didn't have a formal campus).

That might have less to do with them being Guardian Angels and more to do with being young, obnoxious, and afforded a bit of freedom. ;)

Of course, I never took part in any such thing. :angel:
No offense taken. My point was just that. I was really young (maybe 12), and my cousins were also young (in their 20's maybe) and immature. So many of the so called GA's were just that, young, dumb, full of *** and still chewing bubble gum (Something my dad use to say to me all the time, sorry).

Oh and yes, I know you were such an Angel.
icon12.gif
 

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It sounds like they have matured into a positive organization, more of a mobile community crime watch program than anything.

This is the second post that I have read here that says something about the G.A.s maturing into a more positive group. They have likely matured in age, and understanding, but the organization began as a community assistance group, and still is. The idea was, and is to act as a deterent to crime/violence in high crime areas where there is little, or no active Police presence ie: the Cleveland,Oh Rapid Transit System. In areas like this groups of thugs prey on lone individuals, and unless they are Bernie Goetz they get mugged, or worse. We were there to perform as a USMC Embassy Guard acts on post. Stand firmly, stand quietly, watch everything, and if necessary intervene to impede/stop a criminal action. If the interlopers took flight, let them, but if push came to shove, act quickly, act together, and if able hold them for the Police to deal with. We were always admonished to never swagger on patrol like a street thug. In attitude, or action, and as far as I know this has not changed. Please understand these are not "punks" looking for trouble, but citizens looking to be a help. This is a organization that continues to deserve the help, and respect of the citizinery. As a past his prime former member of the Lake County, Ohio Chapter, I salute them.
PEACE 1stJohn1:9
 

donald

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Tames, I'd like to believe that we helped prevent some crime, but realistically it probably wasn't a significant influence on the crime stats. At our peak, we managed a few patrols per week. In terms of hours spent, it comes out to less than the contribution of a single full time police officer. In the city the size of Baltimore, that isn't enough to make a measurable difference.

Sir - The thing is you don't really know what impact you had. Just your presence on the street corner, or at the bus stop may of stopped some young/not so young person from making a life altering monumentally stupid decision. It may have given someone the pause they needed to think through what they were about to do, and by GOD's grace you were there to provide that moment of second, or third thought. So please accept my kudos for a job well done.
PEACE 1stJohn1:9
 

Gordon Nore

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The Guardian Angels have attempted several times to establish a presence in Toronto with mixed results. City officials have not warmed to the idea, and I'm reticent only because I think they could attract people with an agenda. Tony's description of their training and supervision is good to hear.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guardian_Angels#Canada
 

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After the first attempt to steal my car on July 1st I tried to get the Guardian Angels to come into the Albuquerque area, but so far I have not had much success with it.

I knew about the Guardian Angels when I was living in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and until after the attack on my car and due to the crime in my neighborhood I was not aware that they even existed outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

I know now however that they do and it would be nice if a chapter of the Guardian Angels could be started in the Albuquerque area as I am sure that would help to make a lot of people feel just a little bit safer and would cut down on the crime at least somewhat.
 

Darksoul

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-There was a chapter of Guardian Angels in Rochester, NY, where I used to live. The head of the group is a friend of mine, and I had a few friends and one ex-girlfrien in the GA. Their main goal was patrolling a particular busy street in Rochester, and the neighborhoods around it. Lots of bars, diners, businesses and homes. They did it the right way, observing and recording, getting involved only when necessary. Law Enforcement cannot be everywhere at once, so the right kind of support from the community, like Neighborhood Watch or the GA, can ensure better coverage. It doesn't always work out that way, as some GA chapters around the country have shown. The Chapter in Rochester had a meltdown with the head guy and the 2nd in command. My friend had wanted to start up a new group, independent of the Angels, but nothing as come of it, afaik.


Andrew
 

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