Oklahoma City police officers patrol a lot of ground, but soon they will have an extra set of eyes on the streets. The Guardian Angels is a citizen patrol organization and it's looking for a few good men or women to join its ranks.
Inside the gym at Oklahoma Combatives, volunteers are training for the streets.
“It's real world, it's reality training,” said Jeff at Oklahoma Combatives.
The methods and techniques taught are part of Krav Maga or contact combat, an Israeli special forces training designed to save lives.
“We teach them for real situations, multiple attackers, knife attacks, gun threats, active shooter,” he said. “In the real world, most attacks are surprise attacks things are not always played out the way people think they should play out, that's what makes it effective.”
The training is mandatory to become a member of the Guardian Angels, a citizen volunteer patrol group that watches over and protects their own.
The International Alliance of Guardian Angels was founded in New York City in 1979 and News 9’s Aaron Brilbeck is setting up a chapter in Oklahoma City.
“Right now, what we need is bodies,” Brilbeck said. “We need people who are willing to step up, go through the training and make a difference in their community.”
The Guardian Angels are not police officers. They're volunteers and they don't carry weapons, but they are trained to defend themselves and their neighbors.
“You have to take the decision to be a Guardian Angel very seriously because we go out there with no weapons, no body armor -- just the training that we receive,” said Dustin, a new recruit.
The organization recruits members from the areas where it patrols, so members are familiar with the area and neighbors are familiar with them. Once their three-month training is complete, they will go out in force, wearing body cameras, descriptive T-shirts and red berets.
“We serve as primarily a visual deterrent,” said Brilbeck. “We want people to be able to see us. When they see us, it serves as a deterrent to crime.”
The Guardian Angels will patrol on foot three to four times a week in Bricktown and other crime infested neighborhoods within the city. They will work closely with the Oklahoma City Police Department to report crime and only step in if someone is in danger. They will also serve as mentors in their communities.
“It's making it safer for all the children,” said Dianna, a new recruit. “It makes it safer for them to go out and play with their friends play out in the street without people trying to rope them into gangs or sell them drugs.”
The Guardian Angel volunteers will not only be trained in self-defense, but also in conflict resolution and basic first aid.
“It's not vigilantism, it's the exact opposite,” said Brilbeck. “People stepping outside their doors a little bit making sure the areas where they live are safe.”
Again, the group is recruiting new members. You have to be 16 or older and can be male or female. For more information on the Guardian Angels, go here: guardianangels.org or call (405) 669-0632.