Guardian Angels return to Albany

August 08, 2019 11:23 PM

ALBANY – The Guardian Angels were back patrolling the streets of Albany Thursday night. They were handing out fliers in Arbor Hill and interacting with community members.

The group said they wanted to come back after recent violence in the city.


“Someone gets shot or someone gets killed, god forbid, that's a human life,” said Guardian Angel Benjamin Garcia. “That's tragic when you have shootings in the community.”

It was a little more than a year ago that the Guardian Angels were greeted in Albany by emotional community members who said they didn’t need the group. Many had said the Guardian Angels don’t live in the area so they shouldn’t be patrolling. They also said they already have anti-violence groups like SNUG.

Garcia said that’s why the group came back, so that they can have people from Albany that are part of the Guardian Angels and can patrol regularly.

“We're just here to assist them, but they're the ones that are going to be patrolling out here and the people from Albany they’re going to recognize the faces that are out here,” said Garcia.

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said he’s fine with the Guardian Angels assisting in the community, but he said Wednesday he can only be supportive if they follow some conditions.

“Such as how they're going to be operating, how many people, the level of training of their people, keeping us apprised of all those things,” said Chief Hawkins. “And if they agree to be trained by members of the police department and allow us to have some oversight of what they are doing.”

Garcia said they’re willing to work with police.

“We’re willing to get the training,” said Garcia. “It's better for everyone to be on the same page about everything, because once you go out there and you're not on the same page you don't know the rules, you don't know the regulations, you don't know what you're getting yourself into it could be a major headache.”

To learn more about the Guardian Angels, click here.


Emily De Vito

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