WILKES-BARRE — In Wilkes-Barre, as in other communities throughout the country, members of the Guardian Angels are working to prevent crime.
They are part of a national organization.
The Guardian Angels are trained in self-defense.
Their goal is to show themselves and make the community aware they are around and they are watching.
Unlike George Zimmerman, who’s on trial for murder in Florida, these people are not armed.
Zimmerman was carrying a gun the night he shot and killed 17 year old Trayvon Martin.
“It’s a perfect example of why our organization does not carry firearms, we have nothing against people’s right to carry them, I have a permit myself and outside the guardian angels, I do carry, but for the purpose as what type of situations you can run into as Mr. Zimmerman ran into, there’s too many variables and it’s safer for us if we don’t run in to a liability carrying a weapon,” said regional Guardian Angels Director Scott Koppenhofer.
Prosecutors in Florida said Zimmerman was following Martin while on neighborhood watch because Zimmerman thought Martin was a criminal.
The Guardian Angels in Wilkes-Barre are dealing with a city that has seen a spike in violence.
Six men have been shot to death in the city so far this year.
The Guardian Angels said there is a lesson to be learned in the Zimmerman case.
“Be the eyes and the ears of the police, notify them and let the authorities take it, they have the backing of the law,” said Wilkes-Barre Guardian Angel Chris Wolfe.
“Crime watches across the country are going to learn from this, and they may do things differently or they’ll do like what our crime watch does, they don’t carry weapons, they don’t allow weapons and they’re effective without them,” said Koppenhofer.