Pastor advocates spiritual approach to East Side crime spike

Remarks come as community mourns latest crime victim

A recent spike in violent crime on the city's East Side has residents worried and searching for a solution to the problem.

The latest victim, Kiana James, 16, will be buried Saturday. She was shot and killed and two other women were wounded during a drive-by shooting on Morningview Street last Friday.

Pastor Oscar Dean said that a people-to-people approach to the problem, which he's already begun, will help combat the growing crime problem.

"Once we come together in unity we can make an impact on the community," said Dean.

Dean, pastor of the Corner Gate Christian Church, said social programs and an increased police presence are only part of the solution.

"The police can only do so much," Dean said. "I feel that we as pastors and preachers, as members of the community, are able to make a better impact."

He said that he has already initiated a spiritual-based outreach effort.

"We want to be able to allow the church to be a door for anyone who is expecting, or is willing, for a change."

He admits it is an ambitious approach that requires time and patience.

"We're on the way but it's still a lot of work," Dean said.



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