Guardian Angels group patrols Portland streets
PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A new community watch group is on the streets in Portland.
The Guardian Angels, dressed in red, have established a chapter in the city. They met for the first time on Sunday with a group of residents in one neighborhood.
The angels started 30 years ago in the Bronx and their leaders say they have chapters in 14 countries and 140 cities.
The group tried to build support in Portland decades ago without any success. But they're back now because of what they consider escalating violence in the Old Port, and they're looking for more members.
"We are actually aggressively recruiting those who might at at the edge, hanging out with gang bangers and drug dealers but not necessarily tainted themselves," says Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels. "They're posers, wanna-bes, it's better they hang with us and become protectors."
Portland Police have met with the group at least once and appreciate community crime watch groups that provide extra eyes on the ground. However they discourage any citizen from taking physical action themselves rather than calling police.