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The Guardian Angels, a national citizen watch group, is looking for participants to patrol parts of Petworth and Columbia Heights.

From the MPD-4D listserv:

The Guardian Angels are still in need of residents to come out and walk the surrounding area of the the 600 block of Longfellow and Kennedy street, NW. We will have the police walk with us. the walks can be in the evening or on Saturday from 12 to 1:30. I understand some resident do not want to walk because they do not feel comfortable. But there is safety in numbers. We cannot let the thugs control our community. Please send me an email if you are ready to show the community you have had enough and you are not going to sit back and let them control.

It is important that we stake our claim to increased public safety when there are no shootings or other glaring criminal mishaps in our midst.

Criminals do not want to set up shop and operate where citizens are active and vigilant. Community walks are an excellent way to connect with neighbors and get some exercise while protecting our neighborhoods. “When Citizens Have a Stronghold Criminals Cannot Get a Foothold.”

Various responses to the post have been positive, and as someone who lives a just a few blocks away from that intersection, I can attest that casual strolls by the Guardian Angels certainly wouldn’t hurt (try as I might, I can’t help but envision Jack Spade from I’m Gonna Get You Sucka.) On the other hand, drug law reform is something that would actually help lower crime, so that we don’t have a bunch of teenagers killing each other over sales turf, but it’s going take more than a few (thousand) dead poor folk for that to happen.

According to Prince of Petworth, the Guardian Angels are also looking to step it up in Columbia Heights:

Guardian Angels Neighborhood Patrol in Columbia Heights

When: Tuesday, November 11th, 7-9 PM

Where: Let’s meet at 14th & Otis, in front of the Black Lion Market

Areas to be patrolled include 14th Street , 16th Street , Center Street , Hertford Place , Meridian Place, Oak Street , Ogden Street, Otis Place , Parkwood Place , Perry Place , Spring Place, and Spring Road.

We will be accompanied by members of the Guardian Angels. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring a flashlight.

Invited guests include Councilman Graham and Inspector Delgado.

If you have any questions, please contact Donna at dpchele@yahoo.com.

City Paper wrote a fascinating and informative story on the Guardian Angels here.

What say you, readers: Is this something that can bring down crime?