Richmond Police chief unveils new programs to combat violence

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham is unveiling two programs he hopes will reduce violent crime in the city. So far, twelve people have been killed in the city this year.

The two programs announced Thursday are the ‘LAP,’ or Lethality Assessment Program, and Gun 250. The department is partnering with the YWCA and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office on the new initiatives.

According to Chief Durham, six of the 12 violent homicides this year were domestic in nature. He’s hoping the new Lethality Assessment Program will help save lives before domestic relationships turn violent.

“Starting March 1st, when the program begins, each officer is required to put the victim of domestic violence in touch with the Greater Richmond Regional  Hotline,” Durham said.

Emily Baker, Emergency Services Coordinator for YWCA Emergency, said, “the purpose of the LAP is to be able to connect victims of domestic violence who are at high risk of danger from homicide by encouraging those in serious danger to utilize the support and services of their local domestic violence program.”

“It is also our hope by connecting them with shelter care, safety planning, and counseling will also encourage them to participate in the criminal justice process and will help us to seek accountability for their abusers,” added Kelly Burnett with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

The Gun 250 program also starts March 1st. You can earn up to $250 for anonymously reporting a person with an illegal gun if it leads to an arrest, or if police are able to seize the gun. Just text Gun 250 with your tip to the number 274637. You can also contact Richmond Crime Stoppers at 780-1000 or by visiting 7801000.com.

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