RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — More than seven months after the Richmond Police Department announced violence interrupters would be instated throughout the city, 8News finally has more details on where the department and the city are in the hiring process.
The violence interrupter roles were announced by the city in February, and the job postings for the roles closed in April. Since then, 8News has received little to no word on where the city is at in the process, until now.
Petula Burks with the City of Richmond Office of Strategic Communications told 8News that to date, there has been one violence interrupter supervisor hired for the job. Two other candidates are undergoing the hiring process, and one job has been reposted.
The police department has previously said the delay was due in part to background checks, and after the announcement in February, Chief Gerald Smith said those hired for the roles may come with a little extra “baggage,” potentially extending the length of time for a background check for the violence interrupter position versus a more mainstream job.
“These individuals will be from the streets, there’s no other way to put it. These people will come with some baggage, they will come with history. But, they will come with experience [and] connections to the community that we don’t have,” Smith said after February’s announcement.
The new information on the city’s progress on violence interrupters comes after a particularly tragic and violent weekend in Richmond, in which at least two people were killed and ten were injured across eight separate shooting incidents.