Detroit Church Helps Activate Guardian Angels Unit

Post a Comment » Written on May 7th, 2009     
Filed under: News
DETROIT, MI (May 7, 2009) – After being shut out of Detroit for years, the first class of Guardian Angels in the city graduated Sunday during ceremonies at the Citadel of Faith Covenant Church.

Pastor Harvey Carey told the Detroit Free Press he was glad to have the group patrolling the neighborhood. “We’ve been praying for help for a long time,” he said. “Without any fanfare, they have just given of themselves.”

Citadel has been partnering with the Guardian Angels for several months, allowing the group to train in the building, says Executive Pastor Janine Simpson. “There are also a few members of our church that have joined them.”

The five graduates trained in skills that included de-escalating tense situations, martial arts and CPR. They will focus most of their patrols in the area around the church two to three times per week.

Citadel’s neighborhood is one of the most crime-ridden in the city, but the church has been a major presence in trying to make the streets safer and bring economic development to the area.

Members of the group, which has expanded to 14 countries since its founding 30 years ago, are recognizable by their white T-shirts and red berets. According to the organization, the unarmed volunteers patrol city streets, subways and other public areas to keep area residents safe. The organization also operates educational and community service programs.

National and city leaders have praised the group, which has received numerous honors. Still the Guardian Angels had a hard time starting in Detroit.

Founder Curtis Sliwa told the gathering at the graduation that former Mayor Coleman Young fought for more than a decade to prevent the group from operating in the city, according to the Free Press.

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