Group leader: Community must think like a gang to fight crime

Group leader: Community must think like a gang to fight crime
Published: Jun. 16, 2014 at 11:17 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - With many criminal investigations going on around town, a group of concerned citizens is now working to solve the problem of crime in our community.

One of their goals is to connect the community with the police department.

"The number one thing is the parents, the churches and the organizations have to take our cities back," said Dwayne Pierce.

Pierce is the co-founder of Juishelia, a group made up of normal every day people from preachers to business owners.

Pierce said, "Our main goal is to bring the community together with the police departments so they can do their job more effectively."

Another one of their goals is to find help for crime victims. It includes things like counseling, legal advice, and other forms of support.

Most recently, the group met with the parents of stabbing victim Brandon Bennett.

They say they're trying to help the grieving family figure out where to go get the help they need.

"So we go to people and find out their strategies and their excellence in those particular areas and then we connect those areas to the people," said Pierce.

Pierce says Juishelia isn't like other groups, they don't do rallies or marches.

Pierce said, "Rallies have become glorified cookouts with a microphone. We have to have purpose, you have to have strategies before your rally and you have to have strategies after your rally."

Ironically, the group leader says the community must think like a gang.

"When it hurts a hispanic, it hurts you, when hurts a black it hurts you, when it hurts a white it hurts you," said Pierce.

Pierce says he believes it's possible for everyone to shape their communities into something they can be proud of.

"We all have to take on that same attitude that we are a gang and you will not infiltrate our gang and hurt anyone, said Pierce, Everybody black, white, purple, green, hispanic, whoever you are you need to take responsibility."

Pierce says his group has worked with organizations across the state. He also says members of Juishelia are working in partnership with the City of North Charleston to find ways to better serve the community.?

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