It’s no secret that the City of St. Louis has it’s share of crime problems. The trouble is, no matter how much money is pumped into police patrols, they are still merely a reactive force. To really stop crime, it takes the community coming together and saying “we won’t stand ofr it anymore.” Thats were the Guardian Angels come in.
Already established in 140 cities in 13 countries, this is an organization that has had a lot of experience in helping the community stand up for itself. Members patrol their areas wearing red berets and red jackets (they don’t carry guns) and take a proactive role in stopping crime. Unlike a neighborhood watch, they actually get involved first-hand and make arrests and break-up fights. This isn’t your typical nonprofit organization.
Guardian Angels leaders are apparently working with Hyde Park residents to start a local chapter, which would have a presence in any neighborhood with local support. A lot of people seem to react to groups like this and call them vigilantes. Others cite that this is work for the police and that these people should stay out. I say that since the status quo clearly isn’t cutting it, we should welcome the group with open arms and do all we can to encourage their efforts. Who knows, maybe we will be seeing red berets on the streets sooner rather than later. I, for one, would welcome the sight.