Curtis Sliwa was in St. Louis recently to promote his organization, and to begin discussions with the police department about working in the Hyde Park neighborhood.
The last time the Guardian Angels were in St. Louis (in the 1980s), the results were less than noteworthy. The group here was disorganized; the effort — to patrol a public housing project never really gained community support.
A lot has changed in the past twenty years, both for the Angels and for St. Louis. The Angels, for one, have shifted their mission from vigilantism to a broader program of youth outreach and education that complements their bereted appearance on neighborhood streets. There are chapters of the group in Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Boston.
Chief Dan Isom and Hyde Park neighbors will make the determination whether or not to proceed. I will support their decision.