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Community slow to embrace Guardian Angels

The Baltimore Sun

Edgewood Harford County officials will discuss plans to bring the Guardian Angels, a voluntary foot patrol, to Edgewood at a public meeting tomorrow.

For more than a year, the county sheriffs, County Council member Dion F. Guthrie and the Baltimore chapter of the Guardian Angels have sought to bring the group to Edgewood.

"We have been studying this and been having numerous meetings over the last year," Guthrie said.

It has not been determined where in Edgewood the group will patrol, said Harford County Sheriff L. Jesse Bane.

"One of the difficulties we've had in bringing Guardian Angels is the lack of response in the community," he said.

The group has also been recruiting volunteers at the Harford County Mall, but Bane described the response as "poor."

"I don't know what the difficulty is," Bane said.

"The response from the community appears not to have been what the Angels hoped it would be, maybe because of a lack of understanding of how to get the Angels in the community."

Certain areas of Edgewood have been viewed by officials as a hotbed of gang and criminal activity.

In recent years, two killings have taken place on the 1800 block of Brookside Drive and two on nearby Grempler Way.

On Jan. 15, a shooting left one man injured on the 1700 block of Judy Way.

Established in New York City 28 years ago, the Guardian Angels have expanded worldwide.

Members of the group patrol some Baltimore neighborhoods.

Donning red jackets and berets, the volunteers carry walkie-talkies or radios and walk through troubled neighborhoods to keep watch.

Messages left for Marcus Dent of the Guardian Angels were not returned.

Guthrie, Bane and Circuit Court Judge Angela Eaves are expected to attend the meeting.

The District A Advisory Board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Edgewood Senior Center, 1000 Gateway Road.

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