The word Shomrim translates from Hebrew as “watchers” and “guards,” and broadly means all Orthodox Jewish security patrols groups typically made up of volunteers who perform quasi-police services within their insular communities.
In Brooklyn, they are most prominent in Williamsburg and Borough Park, both of which have longstanding Shomrim groups.
They often wear safety vests, and carry police radios.
Because of language and cultural barriers, they often act as a bridge between the community, and outsiders, including the police.
Some Shomrim groups receive government funding, and have their own vehicles. Two Shomrim groups actually got the City of New York to buy them full-fledged command vehicles for about $300,000 each.
They are supposed to immediately call the police when a crime is reported to them.