Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Guardian Angels Want a Piece of the Action in the Tenderloin

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 11:58 AM

click to enlarge Drugs? Violence? Crime? We're there.
  • Drugs? Violence? Crime? We're there.

Following an announcement last week that the Tenderloin plans to step up a neighborhood program of citizen patrols, the Guardian Angels -- a national outfit that sends its members into the streets to deter crime -- is now trying to establish a beachhead in the neighborhood, according to local activist David Villa-Lobos.

Villa-Lobos said in an interview that his Community Leadership Alliance (CLA) group has been contacted by officials from the Nevada office of the Guardian Angels, who asked if the San Francisco chapter of the organization could "join forces" with the CLA to patrol the streets in the Tenderloin. The 50 square blocks that comprise the central city neighborhood have long been plagued by drug dealing, drug use and violent crime.

Villa-Lobos said the Tenderloin's previous experience with the Guardian Angels, who patrolled the streets in 1989 following the Loma Prieta earthquake, was positive, and that the group members' presence seemed to scare off criminals. "Actually, things were never better," he said.

Tenderloin activists are hoping to model the neighborhood's "Community on Patrol" program on a similar program in the Castro. The Guardian Angels, the most high-profile organizer of citizen patrols in the U.S., is also subject to some controversy. Many police officers describe them as vigilantes.

Villa-Lobos added that community sentiment on the Angels' potential presence would have to be gauged at an upcoming meeting on citizen patrols, to be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, in the Hamilton Community Room at 631 O'Farrell Street. "We want to make sure that we're not doing something that's really going to upset the community," he said.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Peter Jamison


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"