Long Beach resident Christopher Findlay is the Operations Director for the Guardian Angels of Mississippi. There is currently only one chapter of the group in our state, in Jackson, but Findlay is trying to form a new chapter here in South Mississippi.
"When Katrina came, Katrina changed everything and changed the whole quality of life here on the Gulf Coast. And I, as a citizen, wanted to do something about it and say enough is enough," Findlay said.
On Friday, Findlay, along with Guardian Angels from across the country, met with Gulfport Police Chief Alan Weatherford. They told him they wanted to have a working relationship with the Gulfport Police Department once the chapter is established in early June.
"The purpose here of today's meeting was to introduce the concept of the Guardian Angels," said Frank Lee, the Senior Director for Guardian Angels.
There has been some debate in the past on the group and its mission of citizens patrolling the streets.
Lee told police the group is more of a Civilian Block Watch Association and pointed out the group's active role in helping law enforcement in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.
"Down in New Orleans, which was a lawless city at that time, post-Katrina, was to help the local, state and federal agencies down there on the quality of life issues and the local residents," Lee said.
Chief Weatherford said he'll wait until the group's training is complete this summer before making a decision on whether to enlist their services.
Members of the Guardian Angels plan to meet with other South Mississippi law enforcement agencies to try and to gain their support, as well.