The last murder in Richmond was back on November 14, 2017 in the Hilltop Green neighborhood. Two people died.
Irene Perdomo's cousin was one of them. Perdomo, who also works in the mayor's office, said, "I'm grateful there have been no more homicides in Richmond but I realize there's more work to be done and the fight isn't over."
Since November, there have been plenty of shootings in Richmond but no homicides - something the police chief says they have long been working toward.
Police Chief Allwyn Brown said, "I really feel that engagement is the key variable, that we've improved trust through engagement across the full spectrum of neighborhoods in Richmond."
Residents, he says, are now calling in suspicious activity and opening their doors to officers asking questions. He credits federal help in curbing gang violence and winning the public's trust that has led to popular community policing programs.
Residents say the culture is changing. Christopher Whitmore, who works as the Mayor's Public Safety Liaison, pointed to the police Facebook page. He said, "They post what they are doing in the community and you'll have hundreds of comments from residents saying great job or I'm so proud the police are patrolling my neighborhood. That's something that's been building for the last 10 years or so."
The chief calls the growing positive relationship between residents and the police the "secret sauce" that he hopes will keep homicides at zero in Richmond.