Voices of America: LaWanda White, Guardian Angels
More videos like this: www.voanews.com/info/voices-of-america/3087.html In New York, Washington, DC, and other major U.S. cities, private citizens have responded to street crime and other problems by forming a group called the Guardian Angels. Since 1979, members have proactively assisted the police by stopping disturbances and even detaining those who break the law. In this Voices of America presentation created by Jeffrey Young, we go on patrol in Washington's Galley Place neighborhood with 22 year old LaWanda White, who plans to make law enforcement her career. "While we're out on patrol, we can never guarantee what's going to happen, or what's going to play out. We're not out here looking for a fight. We're out here to prevent it." "How's it going, sir?" "Hi. LaWanda White. D.C. Guardian Angels. Age 22. We're out today conducting a foot patrol. Getting ahold of our community, and making sure the streets are clean [crime-free]." "We're a 100 percent volunteer, non-profit organization. We come out and volunteer our time, from our busy lives, to do this." "This has been a group that has been together since 1979 -- 33 years." "Have a good day, fellas. You, too! Bye-bye." "I'm always hearing great stories about what the Guardian Angels have done for the community." "Is he rolling that weed [marijuana]? "Out there [on the streets], we experience a lot of crime, as in pickpocketing, fights, drunks -- intoxication. But, in our training as Guardian Angels, we're taught to de-escalate the situation." "Oh, no. We don't look for anybody. We're just out here doing safety patrols. We conduct safety -- you know, there's a lot of [crime] activity in this area. So that's why we're here. So, when you see anything, we're allowed to make citizens' arrests." "We don't carry weapons, but we are trained in martial arts [and] self-defense." "And, we also have partnership with the [DC] Metropolitan Police Department. So, in the next five years, I see myself in the police department as a police officer. The only difference between now and then is that I will have on a police outfit [uniform]." "How's it going, fellas?" "I will still have my leadership, and my [sense of] responsibility. And, I will still be [working] for the community -- keeping the crimes out of the community. And, patrolling the community, as I do now as a Guardian Angel." "We're in the community where there is high crime and anything [bad] that is going on." "I want to make my family proud, and show them that I have the courage -- what it takes -- to stand up and defeat crime in our community."