Members of the Guardian Angels, a nonprofit volunteer community protection group, plan to patrol the Arcade Creek trail Sunday with the help of the Stockton chapter, and are extending an invitation to the community to join the patrol.
The organization heavily encourages community involvement and reaches out into the community frequently in order to keep the public safe and raise awareness on topics such as bullying, self-defense and safety.
Last semester, a string of crimes brought the Guardian Angels out to the trail at the request of a member of the community who had emailed the organization informing them of the activity on the trail.
They held a meeting with the community, where they tried to organize a patrol that consisted of not only the Guardian Angels but local residents as well.
“We wanted the community to participate– many spoke out (at the meeting) but didn’t answer,” said Modesto chapter leader Michael Joseph, who also added that he was disappointed in the turnout for the patrol.
“Nobody came out – just the Modesto and Stockton chapters.”
Sacramento’s chapter was not able to attend the event due to conflicts with their schedules, but have patrolled the area since the Stockton and Modesto chapters came out to help.
According to Joseph they did not find much out of the ordinary while on their patrol, but the experience would have been beneficial to the area’s residents.
“We want the community to see what we see while out on patrol,” said Joseph. The Modesto captain reported that they had found people living under the Roseville road bridge during their patrol.
The Guardian Angels operate as a volunteer based organization with approximately 15,000 trained members in 17 countries spread across 150 chapters. They celebrated 36 years of operation Feb. 13 of this year.
“We encourage people to unite for safety,” said Martin Smith, chapter leader of the Guardian Angels in Sacramento.
Smith and the other seven members of the Sacramento chapter rotate patrols through Citrus Heights, Old Sacramento, K Street and other areas in the greater Sacramento region. They hope to recruit more members to their chapter so that they can patrol more areas and have multiple weekly patrols.
“There are only eight people in the Sacramento chapter – we hope to grow to about 20 to 25 by spring,” said Smith.
The Sacramento chapter will be involved in outreaches in the spring where they hope to recruit new members, fundraise to raise money for the chapter’s various needs so they are better equipped to give back to the community, and network with other nonprofits and community groups to further assist the public.
“We are always looking for volunteers who can dedicate at least four hours a week to the group,” said Smith.
Smith added that volunteers are not limited to safety patrols but can also assist in fundraising, recruitment and training.