The Guardian Angels, a volunteer street patrol, is making its way back to Albany Tuesday night. Community members are pushing back saying the recent spike in gun violence should be dealt with in-house.
“With our community, the issue is a lot of people want to be the chiefs and not Indians,” Jason Ellis, co-owner of Bricks Barber Shop, said.
As community leaders discuss ways to tackle soaring homicide numbers, Ellis says the community missing one key thing.
“There are too many chiefs sometimes and not enough people willing to put in the work,” Ellis said.
Differences of opinion are the divide, but coming together is a way he suggests starting to find a solution.
“From churches, mosques, barber shops beauty salons, we all have to sit down.”
Ellis concedes finding an answer is not simple but community organizations, like this one, are chipping in to do its part.
“We try to create a space here at Delaware Ave. where they can express themselves,” Tasean Murdock, of the Boys and Girls Club, said.
Murdock is on the front lines, making a difference in the community, helping teens express themselves through music.
“A young man did something that we felt maybe wasn’t as positive as it could be.”
Instead of being kick out of the program, the teen was challenged to create a song.
“We as staff didn’t have any input.”
The results reflect the gun violence in the teen’s community.
“We are on the never-ending fight to improve the lives of families right here in the Albany community and it is so important that the community joins us at the club in doing that.”
“That’s one thing that we need to touch on, more programs for the youth. There are some, there are some, but obviously we need to work on some more,” Ellis said.