A homicide is a traumatic event that leaves family members and close friends of the victim in a state of shock and uncertainty over the violent and unexpected loss. Given the profound impacts that a homicide has on secondary victims and their communities and the need to improve how these survivors are incorporated into the investigatory process, the Richmond (Virginia) Police Department and Charlotte-Mecklenburg (North Carolina) Police Department have established Homicide Support Groups (HSGs). The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) has provided CNA with funding to develop case studies on the organizational impacts of the HSGs in these two departments in an effort to produce a field guide documenting promising practices. This case study covers the Richmond Police Department HSG and explains how it started, its operations, notable achievements, and lessons learned. The information contained in this case study should prove to be helpful for other law enforcement agencies that wish to implement their own HSGs.
Supporting a Safer Community in Richmond: Secondary Victims and the Beginning of Homicide Support Groups
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office)