They are a volunteer force on the streets of Williamsburg, usually praised, now on the defense after reports that the Kings County Safety Patrol, also known as the Shomrim, target minorities unfairly.
"We are out to help here. It doesn't matter color," said Hershy Deutsch, the coordinator of the Hasidic Patrol, 25 members strong.
PIX11 news went on a ride-a-long on the streets of Brooklyn. "We sometimes get called before the N.Y.P.D. and this is my neighborhood. It makes me feel good to help," said Deutsch.
The majority of their calls involve children in jeopardy and graffiti, but the Shomrim have risked their lives in violent situations. In September, 2010, while attempting to apprehend a man who was reportedly exposing himself to children in Borough Park, four Shomrim members were shot while giving chase.
"No call is too small. Today we had a call with someone who locked their keys the car. We helped him," said Deutsch listening to his radio, a manager of restaurant by day.
Most Shomrim volunteer six nights a week and don't get paid.
"It's just in my heart to help. I love it," said Deutsch, driving down Bedford Avenue in his Cadillac with tinted windows, patrolling the streets.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times