The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is an independent research organization that focuses on critical issues in policing. Since its founding in 1976, PERF has identified best practices on fundamental issues such as reducing police use of force; developing community policing and problem-oriented policing; using technologies to deliver police services to the community; and evaluating crime reduction strategies.
PERF strives to advance professionalism in policing and to improve the delivery of police services through the exercise of strong national leadership; public debate of police and criminal justice issues; and research and policy development.
The nature of PERF’s work can be seen in the titles of a sample of PERF’s reports over the last decade. (A more complete list of PERF reports is available in the “Publications” section of this website.)
In addition to conducting research and publishing reports on our findings, PERF conducts management studies of individual law enforcement agencies; educates hundreds of police officials each year in a three-week executive development program; and provides executive search services to governments that wish to conduct national searches for their next police chief.
All of PERF’s work benefits from PERF’s status as a membership organization of police officials, academics, federal government leaders, and others with an interest in policing and criminal justice.
All PERF members must have a four-year college degree and must subscribe to a set of founding principles, emphasizing the importance of research and public debate in policing, adherence to the Constitution and the highest standards of ethics and integrity, and accountability to the communities that police agencies serve.
PERF is governed by a member-elected President and Board of Directors and a Board-appointed Executive Director. A staff of approximately 30 full-time professionals is based in Washington, D.C. A Research Advisory Board helps guide PERF's efforts to advance policing research.