Guardian Angels return to Albany


ALBANY, N.Y. (WRGB) - "We're here. We ain't going away. We're not disappearing," said Curtis Sliwa, founder of the New York City Guardian Angels.

The New York City Guardian Angels are back in Albany again, after a tense standoff with members of the community last week when residents made it clear the group wasn't welcome.

"That was actually mild compared to some of the receptions that we've had," Sliwa said.

Sliwa says they returned to start up an Albany chapter.

They recruited about a half dozen people on Tuesday, including Amanda Dellacioppa, who says she asked the Guardian Angels to come to Albany after a wave of violence this summer.

"It's just heartbreaking to know that that's happening. It's happening every day. It's probably happening somewhere right now in this city," Dellacioppa said.

New recruits have to be 16 years or older.

They get three months of training, including self defense, CPR certification, and First Aid.

They also go through simulations of what Sliwa says they'll encounter on the streets.

"Domestic disputes, gang fights, shootings, stabbings, and then you have to be able to take verbal abuse and physical intimidation because you're going to catch a lot of that," Sliwa said.

The Guardian Angels are unarmed, and new recruit Michaelangelo Dellacioppa says he understands the danger of the job.

"It's very scary, okay? That's what makes them the Guardian Angels," Dellacioppa said.

20-year-old Anthony Eggleston is also signed up.

He says he hopes to inspire more young people to join, and wants his community to give the Guardian Angels a chance.

"Albany can use the help, it really can, and so it's like just be open-minded. At least just see, and if it doesn't work, then at least we tried," Eggleston said.

Sliwa says is setting up meetings with Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Albany police for next week.

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