A group of religious Camden residents want to be more involved in the city’s efforts to cut crime. Hundreds of church-goers from across the city are expected to turn out Monday night for a meeting with Camden Mayor Dana Redd.
Reverend Heyward Wiggins is a pastor at Camden Bible Tabernacle Church and a leader with Camden Churches Organized for People. He wants the city to look at crime-fighting models that have been working in other parts of the country.”The Lifelines model actually integrates Ceasefire and a personal interaction with a lot of the street drug dealers and to actually engage them in conversation and find out really why they’re out there,” Wiggins said, “we know it’s a financial thing but what other circumstances are causing them to be there?” Wiggins said the goal is to find ways to get drug dealers in Camden to become productive members of society.
He believes people of faith are often more trusted and said he talks with the young men on his street. Wiggins said he reminds himself that while they’ve chosen a destructive path, ultimately each one is someone’s child.