After decades, Guardian Angels resume Central Park patrols amid concern, debate over NYC crime

It was a familiar sight a generation ago: groups of anti-crime volunteers in the Guardian Angels patrolling New York City's Central Park.

Back then, the city was plagued by lawlessness that police have worked for years to dispel. Yet the Guardian Angels returned this month to Central Park for the first time in over two decades.

They're citing a 26 percent rise in crime there so far this year.

City officials stress that crime is down on a citywide basis, and the iconic park is still far safer than it once was. Mayor Bill de Blasio calls the park "absolutely safe."

Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa (SLEE'-wah) says the volunteers realize it's safer than it was 20 years ago, and they're there to keep it that way.