Guardian Angels hit the streets of Kensington

KENSINGTON - December 19, 2010

The Guardian Angels have been here before in their 31-year history. The reason they're in the neighborhood now is because of the Kensington Strangler, and one of the roles they hope to play this time is to just listen.

Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa tells Action News, "With this subculture of snitches get stitches and end up in ditches. Who knows? Maybe that one unlikely person who wouldn't talk to a cop - talks a Guardian Angel. We backdoor the information and boom - slammed and jammed, bagged and tagged - the person is put out of business."

The Guardian Angels were out in force Sunday morning - members of the high profile, unarmed citizens group, easy to spot in their red berets and jackets. Their mission today is to put out fliers about the Kensington Strangler, provide escorts if need be, and to see and be seen.

Sliwa explains their goals: "Having more Guardian Angels pour into the area, have a presence on a regular basis, help police to offset what they can't do because they can't just put all their resources in Kensington."

Kensington and Somerset is a busy El stop - an area battered by its association with prostitution and drug abuse. Also part of an area targeted by the Kensington Strangler, who is responsible for two, possible three deaths.

The arrival of the Guardian Angels is being applauded by locals.

Kensington resident Tom Cummins says, "The Guardian Angels, when they were here before... I was about 15 when they were here before. And they did, they cleaned it up a lot. They really did. And with them coming back in I really think that it can make a difference."

"I'm very happy that they're out here because we're afraid of walking by ourselves," said resident Cynthia Mendez. "And I feel more safe (sic). I usually get on this train every day and I feel safer with [the Guardian Angels] here."

The Guardian Angels hope to keep a presence at Kensington and Somerset for some time. They are always looking for volunteers though. They are looking for people who will train to become part of their organization. If you are interested in volunteering for the Guardian Angels, you are asked to contact Regional Commander Scott Gallagher at (610) 960-8581.

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