Chuck Wexler    


Chuck Wexler, executive director of PERF since 1993, leads a staff engaged in  policing research, management studies and consulting for police agencies, publication of books and reports on critical issues in policing, police executive education, and policy development.

Topics of PERF studies managed by Wexler in recent years include:

  • Re-engineering police training on use of force and developing de-escalation strategies;
  • Strategies for rebuilding police-community trust;
  • Recommendations for police agencies considering body-worn cameras;
  • The heroin epidemic in many American communities;
  • The role of local police agencies in preventing and investigating cybercrime;
  • The response to critical incidents in Baltimore and St. Louis;
  • Mass shootings and the police response to “active shooter” situations; 
  • U.S. Justice Department investigations of local police departments regarding civil rights violations; 
  • De-escalation of potentially dangerous encounters between police officers and persons with mental illness; 
  • Gun violence prevention; 
  • New technologies that are changing the nature of policing, such as security cameras, license plate readers, and crime analytics software;
  • Police management of large-scale demonstrations and other major events;
  • Improving the police handling of sexual assault investigations;
  • Policing in the Middle East: Since early 2012, Wexler and a group of PERF leaders have been facilitating an unprecedented series of joint discussions by the top officials of the Israeli Police and the Palestinian Civil Police, with the cooperation of Jordan. 
  • Immigration Policy: Since 2007, PERF has made the issue of immigration a top organizational priority. PERF has held national and regional meetings across the country and has developed points of consensus among police executives regarding the role of local police on immigration policy. 
  • The Gates/Crowley Incident: In 2010, Wexler chaired the Cambridge Review Committee, a 12-member panel created to identify lessons for police departments nationwide from an incident involving the 2009 arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at his home.

Wexler also has been directly involved in projects to improve the delivery of police services. As long ago as the 1990s, when the city of Minneapolis faced unprecedented increases in violent crime, Wexler helped develop and implement a comprehensive anti-crime strategy that is now a model for public-private cooperation. Wexler has worked in Chicago to reduce juvenile homicides in some of the city's most troubled areas. He has been involved in crime-reduction and policing projects in Kansas City; Los Angeles; Northern Ireland; Kingston, Jamaica; London; Tanzania; and the Middle East.

Wexler also oversaw PERF’s analysis of the investigation into the “Beltway Sniper” incidents of 2002, serving as co-author of PERF’s report, Managing Multijurisdictional Cases: Lessons Learned from the Sniper Investigation.

Wexler also worked with the best-selling business management writer, Jim Collins, to adapt Collins’ research to public-sector agencies like police departments. A PERF report on this project, Good to Great Policing: Application of Business Management Principles in the Public Sector, was co-authored by Wexler.

A native of Boston, Wexler held a number of key positions in the Boston Police Department. As operations assistant to the Police Commissioner, he played a central role in the agency’s efforts to prevent racial violence in the wake of court-ordered desegregation of the Boston school system. He was also instrumental in the development and management of the Community Disorders Unit, which earned a national reputation for successfully prosecuting and preventing racially motivated crime.

Wexler has a bachelor's degree from Boston University, a master’s degree in criminology from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in urban studies and planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In February 2006 Wexler was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his extensive work with British and American police agencies.