The Commanders' Corner is a place for the Chapter Commander and Assistant Chapter Commander of the Baltimore Guardian Angels to speak directly to their community.
Posted by Chapter Commander Strider on November 1, 2014:
October 11th 2014, The Baltimore Guardian Angels were honored for all their hard work within the communities but what put the icing on the cake and made this event that much more personally rewarding for the Baltimore Chapter is that the majority of the Baltimore team grew up, lived, worked or even had a business in the Essex Middle River area. The Guardian Angels were being honored in their home town. Their stories would be hung on the walls of the Heritage Society Museum for the Essex Middle River area. (Forever) There would also be a very special memorial for the late Baltimore Guardian Angel Assistant Commander James "Smoke" Daugherty who not only grew up in Essex but also volunteered his time coaching kids sports (Basketball & a Little baseball) but also owned a business in Essex.
The Guardian Angels in full force along with the sister chapter of Richmond Virginia on hand for the celebration.
The ceremony was started by former Guardian Angel & Essex business owner Paul "Jester" Rufe who spoke about the work & sacrifice the volunteers perform as Guardian Angels.
Co - Founder of the 2006 re-formed Baltimore Chapter Angelo "Taps" Dent is a veteran Guardian Angel of the 1980s the 1st chapter to enter Maryland. Taps talks about how growing up in Essex taught him how to inter-act with so many kinds of people from different backgrounds which helped him rise through the ranks of the Guardian Angel organization and also in his private life.
June Donavan President of the Essex Middle River Heritage Museum who nominated and organized the award ceremony to induct the Guardian Angels into the museums exhibit receives a certificate of appreciation from the Guardian Angels.
Krush Kent assistant Chapter Commander presents June Donavan with Flowers & the certificate of appreciation.
Many turn out to support the Guardian Angels on such a special occasion.
The Guardian Angels cannot say enough to thank the Maiden's Choice Wmc Wsc who the Angels proudly call family when it comes to support and like minded concern for the communities both groups empower. The President of the club (Blaze pictured center) actually went to junior high and high school together.
David & Suk Smith owners & operators of The Dragon's Way School of Kenpo and Fitness drove all the way down from Pennsylvania to support Strider and the Angels. Website - http://www.carlislekarate.com.
(2) Little Dragon princesses of The Dragons Way School of Kenpo
5th Degree Kenpo Black belt Suk Smith
Assistant Chapter Commander "Krush Kent" talks about the Guardian Angels, the mission, the gratitude, honor & our appreciation of our home town recognition.
Curtis Sliwa Gives special Thanks to the ESSEX – MIDDLE RIVER COMMUNITY for the creation of Leaders who Dare to Care
The Baltimore Guardian Angels have shown over this past decade how to empower others in a partnership to combat the crime that is ongoing in Baltimore City and has spread out to Baltimore County. Marcus Dent, Commander of the local Guardian Angels, along with members of his leadership team, can trace their motivation for getting involved in community service to the time they spent growing up in Essex. They not only dare to care, but they have begun to raise their own families now, and believe that it is time to improve and not move away from problems. With the many partnerships and programs that they have developed, they have become examples for Guardian Angels, now, in 15 countries and 130 cities.
Many people will move away from the inner city and forget that they have a responsibility to return and help out those who want to help themselves. The men and women volunteers of the Baltimore Chapter of the guardian Angels not only risk their lives when they patrol and walk the streets, but serve as the positive role models for an ever growing number of young people who have no one to look up to. In the ranks of the Guardian Angels themselves are men and women who sometimes strayed into the belly of the beast and could have easily gone in the wrong direction. The fact that they put on the brakes and joined an international effort to reduce crime and create a better quality of life is an example of a path that many others can also travel.
"As they continue to spread their wings their work will grow and others will be impacted, but we will never forget that the inspiration came about from their experiences in Essex, where they grew up with a concept of "us" and "we" and not "I" and "me".
Curtis Sliwa, Founder of the Guardian Angels
In memory of James“Smoke”Daugherty
Posted by Chapter Commander Strider on September 24, 2014:
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Celebrities, The NFL & Us Domestic violence can be like a lifelong long struggle for a victim as well as an abuser and it usually goes on in silence until something traumatic causes it to be public knowledge such as injury, legal matters or a 3rd party steps in for an intervention but when any kind of crime or negative action is displayed in public by our popular celebrity’s the awareness, recognition & cause can take on a life of its own. Case in point the Ray Rice incident continues to be the topic of the day. It’s hard not to look for the appearance of privilege with the NFL, Ray Rice or any other sport or TV celebrity who looks to be excused from infractions, legal penalties or accountability because of privilege.
It’s sad that once our idols are caught in a negative limelight depending on how bright their star shines we tend to soften our usual view of morality and overlook what we personally consider is right because we want our celebrity to give us that season end trophy, we want that next TV episode, we want that next album or whatever it is that our heros or sheros normally provide.
If the Rice video would have been a viral video of a 200 lb John Q Nobody (especially a black John Q Nobody) delivering a knock out punch to a woman in an elevator the social network would have exploded with enough rage energy to power a small city. Town’s people would storm the castle with torches and law enforcement would be tripping over themselves trying to be the first to clap on the cuffs but nope, its Ray Rice football star.
NFL superstar Ray Rice is seen on a general public casino elevator video camera delivering a left hook to his significant other knocking her out cold, with no clear body language to indicate his remorse at that time other than the concern that he couldn't lift her enough to pick her up off the floor but at least he took time to make sure she was not indecently exposed as he kicks her legs shut before a crowd gathers.
Although Ray Rice was initially given a 2 game suspension (In the world of John Q Nobody we call that Probation) but now since we have a new video that shows without a doubt the details involved in this attack & it’s crystal clear that we can NOT find an excuse to blame anyone else for the attack but RAY himself.
So now we have to act, something has to be done, who do we blame for this? Meanwhile sport fans, domestic violence victims and advocates, even the president of the United States has thrown in his 2cents speaking about “how horrible Rays action was” People all over the country are kicking up dust but some folks still scratch their heads and say "No! Not Ray, the season just started"
Who is to blame for this?, The NFL already punished him with a 2 game suspension thingy, TMZ has spilled the beans and made the video public and now the Football team owners and league officials scramble to pretend they had no prior clue that the damage was this real. We want answers damn it!! Who can we blame? We have a game to play!!
But wait? Check this out? In typical textbook domestic violence victim fashion the good wife (Janay Rice) stepped up to defend her man. I would love to know what is going through her mind. As embarrassing as it was with the 1st video where Ray received a light punishment and despite the hype, Janay & Ray still got married, Ray got to keep his job, the majority of the public forgot & forgave but NOW..It’s different.
Now the vision is clear thanks to TMZ and that darn security camera. Ray Rice caught on video assaulting his spouse “BAM” DING DING DING...winner by Knockout!
The video goes viral, Ray is dropped from the team, his endorsements are no longer valid, his football Jerseys are being burned or traded and even the Raven franchise is honoring Ray Rice merchandise returns.
I know it looks dark but remember the good wife is here, forget the fact that none of this would have happened if Ray Rice would have kept his hands to himself, forget about the fact that the man she loves gave her a Mike Tyson type punch to the face that bounced her off a wall, a railing and finally the floor but through all of that Janay Rice is still able to lash out at the world for upsetting her man by saying:
"No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family"
We need to forgive Janay for these comments because this behavior is typical of most domestic violence victims plus she was knocked out and missed most of the confusion and fuss. Honestly with the high profile celebrity status of a NFL Ravens player especially one as talented as Ray Rice who lives in the spotlight and gets tons of attention wherever he goes how can she blame the media and the un-wanted options from the public for all the pain her family is going through, hell everybody knows that Atlantic City casinos have been promoting fight events as long as there have been fight events so why should their fight which was caught on a surveillance elevator camera recording be any different?
Janay went on to say that “we (the public) are making them re-live a moment in their lives that they regret everyday and it is a horrible thing"
I totally agree with Janay on this because no matter where you go or what you do people cannot stop talking about this and what is really really unfortunate is that WE (the public) have an UN-WANTED OPTION to re-live it with them! UGGG!
What really gets me is the part when Janay said that they were “hurt and embarrassed and expressed outrage that her husband lost his career over the assault" –REALLY? WHOSE FAULT IS THAT?
Call me crazy but lets go back to what if Ray Rice was (John Q Nobody) he would have not only lost his career but he would have also lost his teeth, his job and the ability to move freely without pain from all the broken bones that he would have suffered from the “Rodney King” butt kicking the police or casino security guards would have given him as they were dragging him off that elevator to send his ass to jail for such a violent attack on a female. – People wake up and sniff the smelling salt!
She posted that "To take something away from the man I love that he was worked his ass off all his life for just to gain ratings is horrific,"
Laughable...No one took anything away from Ray...he gave it away the minute he threw that left hook between floors but of course Janay missed that moment because of her sudden trauma nap and as far as ratings go…No one had to take anything away from Ray to get ratings, there isn’t a news group in the country that hasn’t gained viewers thanks to that video.
My advise to Janay is that she is the victim and she does not have to advocate for Ray, take note little lady because If you think Ray was pissed in that elevator just wait until reality kicks in and he realizes that those million dollar salaries and endorsements are disappearing almost as fast as any proof of anyone in the NFL who had prior knowledge or may have seen that incriminating video of what happened in the elevator before TMZ released it to the public.
Janay wrote. "THIS IS OUR LIFE!"
Again I agree “Your life” but it is a life you chose to play out in the public eye for everyone to see.
This is so disturbing on so many levels. I have had more than enough 1st hand memories of my childhood experiences with domestic violence and even more as a Guardian Angel to know the reality of the pain involved. The sad dangerous truth with this situation is that those of us who have no fame and fortune continue to live everyday in the jaws of domestic violence have suddenly become just a little less important.
So because it’s Ray Rice we look for a reason to overlook public opinion, the ugly truth about the long term affects and we try to downplay the seriousness of domestic violence because football fans want to get Ray Rice back in the game... Domestic violence is real and it’s calling us out from the football field but we try to push it back under the rug just like we did with mental illness before all the school and mall shootings. Domestic violence has been around along time and in one way or another it is paided forward by both the abuser and the abused.
When I watch those videos of Janay and Ray (only my opinion)
I see the body language of a MAN who has very little control of his temper while under the influence who threw his weight and presence around to taunt, agitate and provoke a response and when he got that response "He Struck" violently.
I see the body language of a WOMAN - who did not seem intimidated by the running backs jumps & gestures and when taunted or touched struck back without hesitation as if it was a reflex, muscle memory or habit. Mind you she did not use enough force to damage or hurt but just enough to show that she was un-afraid for her safety maybe because this may not have been the first time these 2 bumped heads or maybe because she had never thought that the man she loved could ever hurt or cause her harm.
I see a couple (2) people who may have a passive aggressive relationship that seemed to have escalated in that elevator in Atlantic City. Not sure if this is the first time these 2 had confrontations but after this latest bout if I were a betting man I would say it will definitely be their last.
Ray Rice is talented, young and can be a big influential advocate when it comes to awareness on domestic violence. There is no doubt that it was his dedication and hard work that helped him reach his goal to become a professional football player and like most celebrities and sport figures who reach a level of success and empowerment after time may feel as though the rules and laws in general no longer apply to them.
Violence is bad enough but domestic violence in my opinion cuts the deepest, your abuser is usually someone you know and many times someone you trust. The emotional and mental stress can do you as much damage as a physical beating.
How many victims sleep in fear every night just praying for a moment of peace before the pain sets in again.
How many children fear adulthood because they don't want to repeat the cycle in their future?
How many relationships have been pushed away due to insecurities & attachment disorders & the only love you’ve ever known came with lies, beatings and emergency room visits?
Ray Rice should be counting his blessings; this is a man who has trained and conditioned his body to give & take beatings, poundings & hits on a regular basis. Anyone who has trained in self defense knows just how easy it is to un-intentionally take a life or cause serious injuries. The punch Ray delivered to Janay alone was enough to cause such damage but remember she also took 2 or 3 more hits from bouncing off the walls before she even hit the floor.
Janay should a take a moment to think about what happened to her in that elevator and appreciate the fact that the damage was not permanent or fatal. I hope she realizes that she is not responsible for the repercussions of her husband’s actions. Don’t be the victim where people point their finger and say “you did this, this is your fault’
I’m not sure if Ray Rice should be banned from football for life but he surely deserved a stricter punishment than a (2) game suspension. (Of course a little Jail time wouldn’t hurt either).
We all blew it though, we have stepped on, covered up and un-covered, back tracked and screwed up the truth, responsibilities and facts so much that all the would have, should have and could haves can’t be untangled for clarity and we have no clue how to proceed.
Poor Ray Rice has backed himself in a corner of fubar hell. Keep in mind that (John Q Nobody) would’ve been still in jail waiting for a court date.
To make matters worse in the aftermath of the Ray Rice incident where no more attention is needed, here comes another NFL professional, Adrian Peterson with allegations of child abuse charges where he allegedly beat his (4) year son with a wooden switch “And the hits just keep on coming” (No pun intended)
Although we really know nothing about our celebrities true personalities and character other than what we see or learn about them on TV, radio or the playing field, Ray Rice like most celebrities & sport figures become role models and heroes whether they like it or not either voluntary or in-voluntary just like the police, parents, teachers, religious leaders and definitely the superstars whose fame and fortune is achieved by those who admire, fund and support them. Anyone who has power or influence over others has the responsibility to lead by example.
When the world of the internet, texting and smart phones with the magic to record & transmit video of our dark side which can be captured and shared in an instant for the whole world to see. (Over & over) can’t control how we behave then we are totally out of control and I fear for the future. If you ever feel yourself coming un-glued outside the confines of home sweet home, just say “Cheese” and suffer the consequences.
Posted by Assistant Chapter Commander Krush on September 16, 2013:
"What are we doing" - Krush Kent
In wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy the Baltimore Guardian Angels have received many calls, emails and post asking What are the Guardian Angels going to do about the Trayvon Martin injustice & what makes this Community Crime watcher different from your organization?
As Assistant Chapter Commander for the Baltimore Guardian Angels, I not only patrol high crime areas of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties but I also coordinate designated Citizen on patrol walks as well as the patrols for my Guardian Angel team. The Guardian Angel organization has more than 130 chapters and has patrolled high crime neighborhoods around the world successfully for 34 years.
Im proud to say that the Guardian Angels are a reputable organization made up of volunteers worldwide with extensive continuous training which includes policies, procedures, and protocols to help ensure the safety of all involved. The most important FACT about the Guardian Angels is that we do not carry weapons of any kind no matter what the state or country regulations permit or allow.
I myself am deeply disappointed by the NOT GUILTY verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Even more disappointing are the racial and insensitive commentaries from people on social media.
As Guardian Angels we understand the nature and responsibility of being crime deterrent volunteers and thanks to our training we are educated and mindful of the consequences, danger and liability so we don't take the law into our own hands. WE ARE NOT THE POLICE-
I bring this up because of the George Zimmermans of the world who give neighborhood watch groups and organizations a bad name.
In My opinion the facts of this situation clearly shows that the only reason George Zimmerman approached Trayvon Martin was because of the color of Trayvons skin. He was a young black male who George Zimmerman felt was up to no good and once Zimmerman saw him, he stalked him, called 911 to report him, ignored the police dispatch orders not to follow Trayvon Martin and eventually Zimmermans pursuit was escalated to a confrontation where Trayvon Martin was shot to death in the name of self defense.
The self appointed watchman George Zimmerman and his independent action of community service should not be a reflection on any or all the neighborhood watchers of like minded groups, individuals and organizations who participate in public safety initiatives to empower and improve the quality of life on our streets.
We as a society must come together regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, and economical status to ensure that no other family has to bury their child under the horrific circumstances and behavior of people like George Zimmerman.
Across the country there are rallies for the injustice of Trayvon Martin being staged everyday but here in Baltimore City my team of Guardian Angels patrol a city where we have 128 homicides (at the time of this post) since January 1 of 2013 and nearly all cases are considered Black on Black crimes that seem to go un-noticed. There is no nationwide alert, rally or local public outcry. Murderers are being acquitted; court cases postponed, criminals not prosecuted and eventually the very criminals we release without prosecution become chalk lines on the streets of Baltimore themselves.
Here at home as groups gather and grow to stage another rally for the injustice of Trayvon Martin in Baltimore lets try to open our eyes and stop the day to day Black on Black homicides that rise to record numbers. If you want to make a difference you must first get involved.
To answer the questions of what the Guardian Angels are doing since the Trayvon Martin Case.?
Our answer is, same things we have been doing consistently as we have for almost (7) years before the Trayvon Martin shooting, the same things as our brother and sister chapters around the world we are working our full time jobs, spending time with our families, putting our personal recreational needs to the side and using our spare time to get involved to volunteer to patrol, train, participate and do whatever we can to promote public safety and make our communities a better place to live.
The Baltimore Chapter is always looking for good people to join our team so if you truly want to get involved or even if you want to see what we do and how we do it. We invite you to visit us, meet the team and see for yourself. Its time to Angel Up!
Lets stop the Violence no matter what color you are! Our prayers are with the Martin Family.
Assistant Chapter Commander
Guardian Angels - Baltimore
Posted by Chapter Commander Strider on January 21, 2013:
Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King
In 1964 when presenting Martin Luther King Jr. with the Noble Peace Prize
Gunnar John Chairman of the Nobel Committee said these words:
“Today we pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., the man who has never abandoned his faith in the unarmed struggle he is waging, who has suffered for his faith, who has been imprisoned on many occasions, whose home has been subject to bomb attacks, whose life and the lives of his family have been threatened, and who nevertheless has never faltered"
This January we celebrated the birth of a man who lived everyday of his life with the unselfish sacrifice of carrying the burdens of not only his entire race but of people everywhere. In his honor we have attended the parades and watched the specials but how many people have actually taken the time this year to at least try to fathom how great a gift his accomplishments were ? As I think of the MLK days, when African Americans, people just like me, faced great challenges to simply walk the streets to be recognized as a race of proud and dignified people, and where the only want cared about was the hope to be treated as nothing more than equals in the human race,
I ask myself, could I have walked the path That Dr. King walked? Could I have dreamed of the future he fought so hard to create? Could I have stood so strong for what I believed when it seemed like the whole world opposed me? Could I have restrained myself from violent retaliation while watching the demise of those who stood beside me?
If I could go back in time and speak with Dr. King I would love to tell him that thanks to all he and others fought for in the past we as a country have come a long way since his famous speech nearly 50 years ago. Race relations and civil rights have improved quite a bit, Equality is not a taboo concept as it was in 1963 and the country elected a black president in the white house. How great it would be to see the expression on his face.
But would I have the courage to tell him that as a race we still have further to travel. Could I tell him that in 2012 we closed out the year with 217 homicides in Baltimore City? 20 more murders than the previous year of 2011. Could I tell him that as of August 26 2013 we have reached approximately 150 homicides so far in Baltimore City. Would I be able to tell him that the majority of the homicide victims were African–Americans, a result of black-on-black crime and senseless selfish acts of violence?
would I have the courage to look him in the eye and tell him “In our present time, even with all you and others have sacrificed...and all you have taught, the biggest obstacle we face now … is each other”? Like so many African Americans of the past, Martin Luther King Jr. paid the ultimate price for our pride. Let’s live the dream.
.“The Aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of a beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness. ---Martin Luther King Jr. (Special Thanks to Todd Wheeler for the photo)
Posted by Chapter Commander Strider on June 11, 2011:
The Chance we never took
It’s been a couple days after our Memorial Day Holiday and it seems that it took no time to get back into what we consider the normal work day, usually I would have immediately dismissed any memory of I how spent the holiday and why we observe, but this time is different at least for me anyway. Before Memorial Day weekend I hurried along my work week knowing that a long 3 day weekend was ahead and like everyone else I too juggled which cookout to go to and how I would use my time. Should I have something at the house and invite friends over or should I plan activities for the Guardian Angels to attend. Well I decided to sit at home and not take this holiday for granted… but as chance would have it I realized I was doing just that, like so many others across the country I was taking this Memorial Day for granted as I did most others.
Sunday morning as I turned on the T.V. there was a show about a marine colonel who was the escort for a fallen soldier who was killed in Iraq in 2004 while protecting a military convoy. The fallen soldiers name was Private first class Chance Phelps and the title of the movie was “Taking Chance" The movie showed the emotional encounters & interactions that took place through the eyes of a Marine escort who was assigned to accompany the body of Chance Phelps to his final resting place.
This fact base movie reminded me just what Memorial Day was meant to do, which is to allow us all to take the time to honor those brave souls who have given their lives to protect the lives of others and our great nation.
Taking Chance reminded me that freedom is not free at all. The bill for the freedom & safety we take for granted is constantly being paid with installments of the lives members of the armed forces and first responders each and every day with a payment plan that goes back as far as time itself.
Taking Chance reminded me of the numerous sacrifices that our service men & woman and first responders face with neglect of their own circumstances, private lives & safety to fight for a nation they are truly willing to die for. I’m reminded that those who serve our country do so with the knowledge & understanding that the choice they have made will limit the time spent with their families, take them to some other part of the world a moment’s notice and chances are they may not return alive. I’m reminded that every time I look at our military, armed forces & first responders I’m looking at someone who is responsible for my future and the future of this country.
I’m reminded that these are the people who are not home to kiss their loved ones goodnight but chose to stand guard as we sleep to ensure that our tomorrow is secure and waiting. I’m reminded that these are the folks who may never hear the words “We appreciate your service and Thank You!
Most of all I’m reminded that every day chances are that every day another soldier will be escorted home and laid to rest and that is something I will never take for granted again.
I want to thank all the Service Men, women and First Responders past and present for all you do and for all you have done for me, my family, my friends and our great country.
For your service, I promise to remember that every (Memorial Day) is a time that I will use to reflect, focus and celebrate the memory of all of those who have served and died to protect the lives of so many people who will never know what it means to “TAKE A CHANCE”.
Guardian Angels - Baltimore
Posted by on November 30, 1999:
Posted by on November 30, 1999:
“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?”—George Eliot