The Guardian Angels will expand their volunteer safety patrols in New Haven, following a spike in violent crime.
The Guardian Angels began walking the streets of New Havenâ€™s Edgewood Park neighborhood a year ago, after a spate of robberies, burglaries and shootings. Guardian Angel volunteers patrol unarmed and are trained to make citizen arrests. Now the signature red berets and sateen jackets will be seen walking the beat in New Havenâ€™s Winthrop Avenue neighborhood. Violent crime has jumped on Winthrop in the past few weeks: three people were injured a drive-by shooting and a woman died after being hit by a stray bullet.
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa says New Haven may never have enough cops to adequately patrol itâ€™s streets. "You need at least 490 officers. You barely have 400. And with cutbacks coming out of Hartford and out of Washington, D.C., youâ€™re not going to see any increase in public safety funding taking place. So more and more citizens are going to have to take to the streets."
The Guardian Angels were invited to New Haven last year after angry Edgewood Park residents formed their own armed citizens patrol. That group has since disarmed. Sliwa says the Guardian Angels plan to expand into South Norwalk and Hartford.