The women of a Philadelphia group called Mothers in Charge hope that one day there will be no need for the support group that helps families who lose loved ones to homicides, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. Last year, 380 people were killed in Philadelphia, the highest number since 1997, when more than 400 people were killed. Mothers in Charge, which began in 2003 with a small number of women, now has about 200 members, said Dorothy Johnson-Speight, the group’s founder and executive director.
Yesterday, Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson announced a new initiative, “The Commissioner’s Homicide Victims Monthly Meeting,” that was coordinated with Mothers in Charge. The goal is to allow families to speak with homicide authorities and stay informed of investigations, and to encourage family members to share information that may lead to an arrest, the commissioner said. “We need them as much as they need us,” said Johnson, who added that the group has always supported police when asked. Another goal is to make sure families get needed support services, such as counseling or financial assistance for a funeral.