Earlier this week I was riding the Blue Line from the California stop downtown, as I do everyday. The train pulled up and lined up with the subway door to hop on, but this crazy dude popped out right in front of me wearing a red beret, combat boots, cargo pants and a t-shirt that said Guardian Angels - Subway Patrol.
The doors shut and he stayed in the car and at the next stop he did the same thing. popped his head out and looked both ways followed by a thumbs-up. This is when I realized that he was not the only Guardian Angel on the train. When he was sticking his head out he was looking down the line for the other Guardian Angels also giving their approval of safety.
When I got down to school I searched the internet and came across this video of the same patrol I saw on my train:
During the train ride going through the Wicker Park neighborhood, the guy in this video with a goatee, was talking how the Guardian Angels were responsible for cleaning up the neighborhood and how "gang members can no longer afford to live around here".
A surreal experience, I almost thought I was imagining things.
The Guardian Angels is a non-profit, international, volunteer organization of unarmed citizen crime patrollers. The Guardian Angels organization was founded in New York City in 1979 by Curtis Sliwa and has chapters in over 60 cities around the world.
Sliwa originally created the organization to combat widespread violence and crime on the New York City subways. The organization originally trained members to make citizen's arrests for violent crimes. The organization patrols the streets and neighborhoods but also provides education programs and workshops for schools and businesses."