The Guardian Angels are scheduled to open an office in Long Beach today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The group of volunteers, easily recognized by their red berets, plans to patrol the city's crime-ridden areas each weekend "as extra eyes and hands for the Police Department," Butch Harbaugh, 29, the Angels' Orange County coordinator, told the City Council Tuesday.
The group will be recruiting locally for the new chapter, but until new members are trained, Guardian Angels from Los Angeles and Orange County will patrol Long Beach neighborhoods, making citizens' arrests.
Volunteers carry no weapons but are equipped with flashlights and handcuffs. Upon arresting a suspect, they contact police.
Guardian Angels representatives said they decided to open an office at 555 Pacific Coast Highway after receiving numerous requests from Long Beach residents worried about crime.
Police officials have said they do not support the Angels and fear the group could cause problems rather than solve them.