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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77022 Find in a Library
Title: Does New York Need the Guardian Angels?
Journal: Police Magazine  Volume:4  Issue:3  Dated:(May 1981)  Pages:51-56
Author(s): B Edelman
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the mixed reception given to the Guardian Angels, who volunteer their time to guard the New York City subways, and outlines some criticisms of their work by police and other city officials.
Abstract: The Guardian Angels were created in 1979 by Curtis Sliwa, a charismatic 25-year old high school dropout. Sliwa, who is called 'Rock' by his followers, claims that the organization has grown from 13 to nearly 1,000 members and that the angels have opened chapters in other cities and in Puerto Rico. However, police in those jurisdictions dispute Sliwa's claim about these new chapters. Most of the angels come from the poorest, thoughest sections of the city. Almost 65 percent are Oriental. Two dozen members are women. The angels have been criticized by the New York Police Department Patrolman's Benevolent Association because they come close to taking the law into their own hands and because they seek publicity. In addition, the association disputes the angels being credited with having interceded in 104 crimes or potential crimes. However, other city officials state that the angels may act as a deterrent to crime and some commuters have said that the presence of the angels makes them feel safer. The New York police have offered a program that would have recognized the angels as auxiliary police, but this program was rejected by Sliwa. Transit police are concerned that other gangs may attempt to copy the angels and that the angels themselves, who carry no weapons, may encounter an armed criminal. Photographs are included.
Index Term(s): Crime Control Programs; Gangs; New York; Police juvenile relations
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