It's official, the Guardian Angels are setting up shop on Savannah's streets. Some residents invited them after months of frustration over crime. WTOC attended their first meeting to sign up members and offer information. Last night alone, they collected 14 applications from folks hoping to put on red berets and patrol our streets. Savannahians fed up with the crime plaguing our city streets are trying to make a difference.
"If there is something positive and something constructive that can be done, we need to open up to it and try to make a difference in our community," said applicant Gordon Smith.
Leaders of the Guardian Angels hope that patrolling neighborhoods in their red berets will do just that.
"The job of a Guardian Angel is to be a visual deterrent to crime and a role model for the youth," explained Guardian Angel Frank Lee.
It's something that Bill MacIntyre can't wait to get back into. For four years, he was a member of Boston's Guardian Angel group. He noticed the difference he helped make in some of Boston's roughest neighborhoods.
"People feel more comfortable with them around," he told us. "And also having them around deters crime."
That's a feeling Gordon Smith wants for everyone who comes to Savannah.
"When I hear of tourists and residents alike who are victimized as if this were just something expected, it definitely ignited a passion for me in some way to make a difference," said Smith.
Fourteen people signed up to become Guardian Angels and they're already trying to recruit friends.
"Do my best talk with friends, people I hang out with and hopefully they'll see that difference and join," MacIntyre said.
To become a Guardian Angel, you've got to be 16 or older without a serious criminal past. Their meetings will be held each Thursday from 7pm to 9pm at the Jewish Educational Alliance in Savannah.