Guardian Angels return to recruit Albany members

July 18, 2018 09:34 AM

From safety patrols to security cameras, people in the City of Albany are making an effort to end the violence that's taken place over the past few weeks.

After a rough reception last week, the Guardian Angels returned from New York City to continue recruiting.

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Guardian Angel founder Curtis Sliwa said he spent a lot of time in Arbor Hill back in the 80's, and not much has changed since then.

Sliwa said they have about a dozen people interested in becoming part of their safety patrol group.

"It's never been like this before,” perspective Guardian Angel Anthony Eggleston said. "I feel like if you were to see someone around my age setting an example and they look at me like, 'oh he's not doing stuff and he's not involved in stuff with the gangs and drugs and stuff.' They'd be like, "oh OK it's not so bad.'"

Though some don't think the angels have enough knowledge of the area or the problems the people here face, Sliwa said the angel's presence is needed in the community.

"From the limited access I've had to the self-appointed community leaders telling me what a great job they're doing,” Sliwa said. “And what I say to them is body count is up, snitches get stitches and end up in ditches is the code of the street. I'm sure they're trying to make a difference but you need a little more help."

Sliwa said he's hoping to meet with Mayor Sheehan and Albany Police officers soon.

Last week Sheehan said she agrees with those who think the angels do not know enough about Albany to be helpful.

Pastor Charlie Muller said he understands that argument. He said the angels have been here before, and their efforts failed.

"Time will tell you know, I think people were upset because, hey you didn't call anyone you didn't ask anybody you just came in," Muller said. "I think that's why people were upset.”

Eggleston doesn't see it that way.

"It's one more thing Albany can add to the city that its citizens can benefit from if they choose to join and it's not enough to pay for it you just join,” Eggleston said. “I feel like you get more people to join that's another group so it means that it shows that Albany cares."

Sliwa said the uptick in violence isn’t an issue unique to Albany. The Guardian Angels are also looking to recruit people in Utica, Schenectady, Newburgh and Poughkeepsie. He said the Guardian Angels will be continue to come back every Tuesday to recruit and train new members.


Emily Burkhard

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