Bomb Scares and Drunk Thugs
Last night we had the very good fortune of a visit from the Inland Empire Chapter, and the night kept us all very busy. We took massive advantage of the radio technology we had on hand, and found ourselves covering Hollywood Boulevard extremely well. We had eyes and ears on activity all over the hot-spots and the hidden alleys. You can never predict how the night will turn out, but we certainly couldn’t have predicted talking down a group of aggressive drunk thugs who were looking for a fight would lead us to shutting down a whole block for the bomb squad.
Radios to the Rescue
Because we had a ten-person patrol, we were able to cover a lot of ground simultaneously. Well, more correctly, that’s because we had a way to talk to the people dispersed throughout that ten-person patrol. We had no trouble communicating all up and down the main boulevard and the side streets branching from it with our mix of various radio brands and some know-how (some of our members hold various FCC license levels).
There is no way we could have covered as much space without good radios, and proper protocol to use them. We could easily have two Guardian Angels watching a potential trouble spot while sending two more around the corner to check on a suspicious noise, and another team check on someone passed out across the street … all while keeping perfectly good communication with each other!
With an unarmed team, it’s vitally important to utilize the strength in numbers and teamwork that our patrols can have. We can lower our own risk by working as a team, and thereby lessen the amount of injury needed to subdue the average drunk thug. That teamwork becomes available faster with good radio support. If that team around the corner needs us, they can summon the entire group quickly. And if they don’t need us, then it just means more and more people seeing the Guardian Angels on patrol, seemingly everywhere at once in one night. For my best suggestion, and the radio that the Riverside Chapter and I use on patrol, check out the Quansheng TG-UV2.
Thugs – Putting Them in Their Place
At one end of the patrol area, Riverside Chapter Leader, Dave Eagle, had an interesting “conversation” with a group of young hot-heads. This group of guys was walking along, talking to the girls as they passed, giving them a whistle and an annoying bit of attention. That’s not so unusual in a setting like this … what made it different was that these guys were interested in the girls WITH boyfriends. This group was less interested in the girls’ attention, and more interested in starting a fight with their dates, instead.
Most of the girls were smart enough to realize how stupid it was, and convince their boyfriends to ignore the low-IQ club. It’s doubtful that it would be that peaceful every time, though, and Dave Eagle took a small team with him to follow these obnoxious idiots. Sure enough, more of the same: whistle at the girl … tell the boyfriend he should let her party with them instead … tell the girl she’d have more fun with them … blah, blah, blah.
And then they noticed the Guardian Angels behind them.
The leader of the group, Mr Hot-Head, walked up to Eagle to intimidate him. He was at least a foot taller, and full of drunken confidence. “What do you think you’re gonna do about it if I start somethin? Huh?”
Our patrols follow simple tactical positioning, known as “Contact and Cover” giving Eagle all the ready back-up he could want if he needed it. The patrol spread out to advantageous positions in case this potential “Monkey Dance” followed its course towards violence. But Eagle had his own plans.
Eagle looked nearly straight up at Hot-Head, and told him point blank, “I’ll arrest you.”
That’s it – no ego, no macho show-off display. Dave just knows who he is, what he can do, and what his patrol members can do. Sure enough, those guys calmed down, walked off, and changed their tune. Did it stay that way all night? Who knows. We “Dare to Care” and make a difference wherever we can. If we helped those guys cool off enough to make a longer difference, then it’s even better than we’ll ever know.
We got our team reassembled and ready to deploy in new directions. We were taking full advantage of having multiple members and multiple radios. At most, two minutes went by when a call went out from our southbound team: “We found a suspicious looking package.”
Sure enough, that team found an aluminum briefcase … standing alone with nobody around to claim it. Suspicious? You bet. That team made a call to LAPD. Maybe it was just an empty briefcase … maybe it was full of drug money … maybe it was really a bomb planted in Hollywood … or maybe even it was a test by a would-be bomber to see if anybody would actually take action. We most definitely take action when we see a problem – that’s what excites me about the Guardian Angels.
LAPD got on the scene and most certainly agreed. They cleared the block, and stopped traffic all around. A few Guardian Angels helped convince people to keep on moving out of the area to let the incoming bomb-squad do their work.
What happened? What was in the case? We will never know. LAPD called us, and asked us to wait at a particular spot for a follow-up interview … but the night had other plans for them and they never got back to us. Yeah – it’s a little frustrating: I’d love to know what’s in it, too. But most of all, I’m happy to know that Guardian Angels don’t just wait around and react … they take action and make things happen.
People – The Real Best Technology
Last night was a great example of the “tough-geeks patrol” that I prefer. We had high-tech radios, members with FCC licenses, computer-geeks, bounty hunters, ex-military guys … and best of all: those weren’t necessarily different people! The individuals on this patrol brought such a mix of skills and knowledge, that it really felt like we could competently handle a great variety of problems.
Combining skills, knowledge, experience, and teamwork, the Guardian Angels can make a huge difference in the world. I saw it last night – this is an organization full of great people who really do Dare to Care.