"Criminals are cowards. They strike where it is easy," Landry said. "Criminals are going to move on if they see the Guardian Angels."I missed this WDSU report, and the excellent point made at the end, which was filed in April:
That conviction, however, is not universal. The Rev. Tony Talavera, proprietor of the French Quarter Wedding Chapel, called the Angels earlier this year, asking them to set up shop in the French Quarter. But after meeting them, Talavera changed his mind.
"They won't be effective," he said. "They are wasting their resources here. They aren't even armed. The criminals here are going to laugh at them, then rob them."
Talavera is trying to garner attention and support for a new initiative. He wants Blackhawk Protection Service, a Metairie company that employs lethally armed guards, some recently returned from stints in Iraq, to patrol the Quarter.
The company, Talavera said, would be Blackhawk Protection Service. Its employees carry guns and are authorized to hold crime suspects until police arrive.These guys aren’t police. Their mission is “to provide physical and tactical security services to our clients with integrity, confidentiality and professionalism.” To their *clients.* Not the people.
Blackhawk's plan involves a dozen two-man teams patrolling 24 hours a day.
Talavera said the added protection would combat graffiti, car break-ins, robberies and muggings.
Although Blackhawk said 38 businesses and 15 residents have already signed up, Marianne Lewis said she hasn't joined -- and that no one in the French Quarter should have to foot the bill for added safety.
"We've been paying taxes, and part of that is police protection. To put an additional financial burden on small business owners that they have to come up with any fee per month to keep our employees safe and visitors safe -- that's ridiculous," Lewis said.
Local law enforcement, particularly JPSO, is already starting to look like a paramilitary force. The last thing we need is an actual paramilitary force patrolling the streets.
I am sorry that some French Quarter residents feel the police aren't effective. But, they need to focus on *making* the police effective. If neighborhoods resort to buying their safety, then only the neighborhoods that could afford it would have it.
Also, as a point of reference, there has not been a murder this year in the French Quarter as of today. In fact, the French Quarter has been a murder-free island surrounded by a sea of death. I know this doesn't mean that the French Quarter has been free of all crime. But it has been free of the most violent kind.