Guardian Angels protecting DDOT drivers and passengers

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - You might have a guardian angel watching over your shoulder the next time you ride a DDOT bus, but these angels do not have a halo hanging over their head.

These people wear red berets and white sweatshirts with their logo and they are an international non-profit organization called Guardian Angels.  The group is made up of volunteers.

The group has been riding city buses for years here in Detroit, but recently made themselves even more visible to drivers and riders because of the recent violence against drivers.

"When criminals see us, whether they're on the bus or they're getting on the bus they'll think twice about committing a crime," said Miguel Fuentes, National Director of Guardian Angels.

Fuentes tells 7 Action News that if they need to, angels will make a citizen's arrest.  Angels ride in groups of three or more during bus service hours.  They do not carry any weapons and hope to be a deterrent to criminals.

We wanted to find out how DDOT bus drivers felt about their new protectors and asked a driver who had the Guardian Angels on their bus route this evening.

Terra Clark, a DDOT bus driver for the past seven years tells 7 Action News she felt safer with members of the group on her bus, but worries what will happen if someone brings a gun or another weapon on the bus since the Guardian Angels do not carry weapons.

Fuentes confirmed the group does not carry weapons and if any members get hurt they themselves have to pay for medical bills if they get hurt.

When 7 Action News called Detroit Police for a comment, a spokesperson referred us to the city of Detroit and DDOT.  We are still waiting to hear back from the city.

When we contacted the union, Fred Westbrook, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26 tells us he personally does not support the Guardian Angels on Detroit buses because he worries about retaliation.  Westbrook said if they stop violence that definitely helps, but he is worried about retaliation against drivers because of efforts by the Guardian Angels and worries the group could do more harm than good.

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