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Training and Communication Among Investigators

The Pennsylvania Homicide Investigators Association was founded and formed in 1992 to benefit Detectives and Criminal Investigators across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The idea was born at a homicide conference that occurred in Kansas City, MO in 1991. Little did we know, five Pennsylvanians flew to this conference to gather information to better prepare us to undertake the important task of conducting a successful homicide investigation.  We never imagined  that the outcome of our efforts would result in the formation of an organization that has literally served thousands of officers and detectives not only in Pennsylvania but in 22 other states (AR, AZ, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI,, NH, NJ, NY, OH, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WV) and three other countries (Canada, Netherlands and Northern Ireland)...


At the close of the Kansas City Conference, Corporal Dan McKnight (PSP Butler), Detective Richard Peffall (Montgomery County Detectives), Detective Terry O’Leary (Pittsburgh City Homicide Unit), Sergeant Nick Bruich (Allegheny County Homicide Unit), Trooper Tom Brennan (PSP Harrisburg), and Tom Jordan (State College Borough Police Detective) agreed to meet in State College, PA to form this group now known as the P.H.I.A.  Recognizing the importance of involving a representative from the largest police department in PA, an invitation was extended to the Philadelphia Police Department and Lt. Ken Coluzzi, Homicide Division, became an important player in building the foundation of the P.H.I.A.


These “founding fathers” of the P.H.I.A. had two simple goals in mind.  One, to provide good, affordable, fundamental training in the area of death investigations for police officers and detectives in PA,  and two, to develop an easily accessible network of law enforcement officials to compare notes with and trade ideas to assist in  solving homicide cases.   For the past 27 years the P.H.I.A. has served law enforcement officers across the country and is one of the largest, state run Homicide Investigators’ Associations in the country.  We currently have over 1,000 members and have helped numerous other states start up their own Homicide Investigators Associations.  The P.H.I.A. has, for the past 25+ years, sponsored seminars for law enforcement officers across the country, and we look  to do this into the future.  We want to build relationships with other death investigators so that we can continue to fight for victims who can no longer fight for themselves!  

Tom Jordan

P.H.I.A. Investigative Assistance Grant

One of the Goals of the P.H.I.A. is to assist members with their homicide investigations. The P.H.I.A. recognizes that often certain investigative steps cannot be taken due to lack of financial resources. With that in mind, the P.H.I.A. Board of Directors decided to provide financial assistance in certain cases. If any P.H.I.A. members have a case where they have exhausted all avenues of obtaining funding for investigative testing and procedures, please complete the below form.

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