Training and Communication Among Investigators

The Pennsylvania Homicide Investigators Association was founded and formed in 1992 to benefit Detectives and Criminal Investigators across the state of Pennsylvania.  The idea was born at a homicide investigation conference that occurred in Kansas City, MO in 1991. Unbeknown to any of us, five Pennsylvanians flew to this conference to gather information to better prepare us to undertake the important task of successful homicide investigation.  Once at this conference, little did we know that the outcome of our travels would result in the formation of an organization that has literally served thousands of officers and detectives not just in Pennsylvania but in 9 other states and Canada.


At the close of the Kansas City Conference, Cpl. DanMcKnight (PSP Butler), Det. Richard Peffall (Montgomery County Detectives), Detective Terry O’Leary (Pittsburgh City Homicide Unit), Sgt. 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 formulate this group now know as the P.H.I.A.  Feeling it important to invite 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 with 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 1or 2 seminars per year for law enforcement officers across the country and looks to continue to do this into the future.  We have provided in the past, and look to provide in the future, rosters of all our members throughout the country to help homicide investigators communicate with other association members to pass on information, share ideas and compare similarities in cases so that one thing can occur--we can solve more homicide cases.  

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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