I TEAM: new crimefighting push underway after Alianna DeFreeze murder

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CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM has learned of new crimefighting measures on the southeast side of Cleveland where 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze was recently kidnapped and murdered on her way to school.

The Cleveland Clergy Coalition, Friday, met with Cuyahoga County Prosecutors. They are working together to come up with a database of where the security cameras are in the area. That way when something happens, investigators won’t have to spend precious time searching for clues.

Aaron Phillips, speaking for the ministers group, said, "I really commend Prosecutor O'Malley. They have a grid and database on how to organize this in a timely manner to help their office to prosecute cases. As the African-American community, especially the church community, we want to help do what we can do to make our community safe."

The churches also recently began walking kids to some schools in the area. Phillips says the Cleveland Clergy Coalition is just beginning work to find ways to expand that and make it a long-term commitment. However, the group knows it will need many more volunteers.

Additionally, the ministers want to get more done about vacant homes in the area, eyesores and often safe-havens for crimes.

Not much may happen quickly, but a push to make the streets safer has begun on multiple fronts.

Meantime, the suspect in the teen’s murder, Christopher Whitaker, is facing charges that could lead to the death penalty.

More stories on Alianna Defreeze here

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