Volunteers fight crime in West Atlanta neighborhoods
ATLANTA - Neighbors and residents of Atlanta's West Side volunteer to patrol neighborhoods to take a stand against crime.
The members of the group call themselves the "Street Groomers."
"We patrol neighborhoods. We walk kids to the school bus to make sure they get to school safe," said Haroun Shahid Wakil, who helps lead the Street Groomers.
Members tell FOX 5, the close to two dozen volunteers will take it upon themselves to peacefully patrol neighborhoods where criminal activity occurs, and will even receive calls by residents to bring their presence to their area of Atlanta.
Volunteers also participate in community cleanups, organize games for youth in parks, and can be seen at community events.
Wakil said the Street Groomers fill an important void in their neighborhoods: when residents are either distrustful of police or fear the police, volunteers help residents feel safe to address criminal activity.
"This is not snitching. This is bettering the community," said Wakil. He tells FOX 5, he used to sell drugs on Atlanta's streets, but turned from a life of crime. He now lives for another mission: to better the West Side of Atlanta, and mentor youth to steer from criminal activity.
"We know a lot of guys on the streets... Some of them don't have family. That's all they know," he said.
The Street Groomers will help organize a baseball game for youth at the West End Park this weekend.
NEXT ARTICLE: Police: Slider criminals are getting caught, locked up