The Guardian Angels is a non-profit, international, volunteer organization of unarmed citizen crime patrollers. The Guardian Angels organization was founded February 13, 1979 in New York City by Curtis Sliwa and has chapters in 15 countries (in 144 cities) around the world.
Sliwa originally created the organization to combat widespread violence and crime on the New York City subways. The organization originally trained members to make citizen’s arrests for violent crimes. Today, they often detain criminals instead of making citizen's arrests. The organization patrols the streets and neighborhoods but also provides education programs and workshops for schools and businesses.
In the beginning, New York City Mayor Ed Koch publicly opposed the group. Many government officials also opposed the group whenever they attempted to open a chapter in their cities. Toronto Mayor David Miller and Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair publicly oppose the group. Over the years, however, as the novelty of the organization and controversy has died down in many cities, and as citizen involvement and outreach has increased, there has been less public opposition to the group by government officials. Former Mayor Ed Koch later reversed his stance on the organization, and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and current New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have publicly supported the group.
CyberAngels was founded in 1995 by Gabriel Hatcher as an online "neighborhood watch". Originally the group monitored chatrooms directly with the intent of apprehending sexual predators. Later the group took what it had learned and changed its focus to educating police, schools, and families about on-line abuse and cyber crime. In 1998, CyberAngels received a Presidential Service Award. MacSupport.com founder Tony Ricciardi was an early member of the group