Guardian Angels head, Norwalk mayor reach deal

NORWALK - The leader of a citizen patrol group Guardian Angels and the mayor of Norwalk reached a compromise Thursday that will allow the group to maintain its presence in the city.

After a 40-minute meeting behind closed doors between the head of Guardian Angels, Curtis Sliwa, and top city officials, the two sides agreed the New Haven and New York chapters will continue to patrol South Norwalk one day a week, but only after notifying the police department of their location.

?They have the right to be out on the street and do what they do,? says Norwalk Mayor Dick Moccia. ?That's their constitutional right.?

The city emphasized it will not be liable for the group's actions and doesn't necessarily see the need for the citizen patrols.

The two sides, however, failed to resolve the question of the Guardian Angels patrolling public housing complexes in Norwalk. The issue was raised after a minor confrontation between Norwalk police and Sliwa?s group. The city insists the Angels need to obtain permission to enter public housing.

City officials also oppose to the idea of opening a local chapter of the Guardian Angels, although Sliwa remains optimistic.

?We think [the] interest of people to join is there, and now we have to do the heavy lifting,? he says. ?At least now we have communication, which solved most problems.?

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