Preparing police executives for
the challenges of today and tomorrow


PERF will host four Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) sessions in June and July of 2024 at Boston University. All SMIP sessions are full and program registration is closed. Please click the below link to register for the SMIP Waitlist.

The 2024 SMIP Session dates are:

Session 90: June 2 – June 20 (Session is FULL)
Session 91: June 3 – June 21 (Session is FULL)
Session 92: July 7 – July 25 (Session is FULL)
Session 93: July 8 – July 26 (Session is FULL)


Tuition for the 2024 SMIP program will be $11,150 per student.

If you applied for the 2023 waitlist, please reapply for the 2024 sessions. We do not automatically roll over waitlist applications to 2024 sessions.

PERF will be offering SMIP scholarships for the 2024 program. Please see the scholarship section below for more details such as scholarship criteria.

PERF will not require a COVID-19 vaccine for the 2024 SMIP program, unless another large increase in COVID cases occurs. In accordance with the CDC, PERF recommends that everyone stay up to date with their COVID vaccination. PERF reserves the right to make a change to this policy for the health and safety of everyone participating in the program.

If you have any questions, please review the SMIP FAQ page. For other questions, you may contact Matt Harman at [email protected] or 202-454-8302.


The policing profession is changing as never before. Today’s police executives face challenges that did not exist a decade ago, or even a year ago. Recruiting and retention challenges, stubbornly high violent crime rates, communities’ concerns about police use of force and calls for reform measures, the worsening opioid crisis, increasing homelessness, constantly evolving domestic terror threats, and the implications of cybercrimes stemming from new technologies – all of these represent new and difficult challenges for police leaders.

Communities expect more from their police departments in terms of de-escalation strategies and critical thinking, appropriate use of force, procedural justice, accountability, and transparency. Police executives seeking to employ new technologies such as facial recognition and drones are often faced with public scrutiny over privacy and other concerns. Issues related to officer wellness, mental health and police suicides are also taking on new prominence. Today’s recruits differ in significant ways from previous generations in how they view their careers and what they want to achieve, and recruitment is becoming more difficult. Chiefs and Sheriffs must find new ways to address these issues and deliver a wider scope of services, often with fewer resources. The very nature of leadership in policing is changing.

Our goal with SMIP is to ensure that the instruction reflects the best thinking about the changes that are taking place in the field. The SMIP curriculum is continually updated, and the SMIP faculty has the experience and wisdom to prepare attendees to address the current and future challenges in policing. The SMIP program is always informed by recommendations of previous SMIP attendees as well as the leading practitioners and academics who participate in PERF’s conferences.

Program Overview
SMIP is a program of the Police Executive Research Forum that provides senior police executives with intensive training in the latest management concepts and practices used in business and government. It also features discussions of the most challenging issues facing law enforcement executives today.

A demanding three-week course, SMIP brings together a faculty from top universities, successful law enforcement chief executives, and subject matter experts from the private sector. It is designed for mid- to upper-level police executives who ultimately will lead police agencies throughout the United States and other participating countries. SMIP’s curriculum addresses the issues that demand the attention of today’s forward-thinking law enforcement leaders. Classes normally are held at the Boston University School of Law, where participants learn and reside in the university’s classrooms and residence hall.

The SMIP Value Proposition
SMIP brings together leading thinkers in corporate and public management to provide intensive training in the latest management theories and practice, innovative solutions to organizational problems, and discussion of important issues in managing public service organizations effectively. The program’s goal is to give police managers the same quality of management education available to other leaders in the public and private sectors.

As a developmental program for the profession’s current and future leaders, SMIP focuses on leadership and executive development. The curriculum is much more conceptual than technical and requires participants to think in broad terms about their agencies’ environment and operations. Readings and class discussions stimulate critical thinking and problem-solving.

Participants emerge with an understanding of advanced management practices and effective leadership. They also develop an enhanced awareness of the management methods and resources necessary for fulfilling current or future responsibilities. By sharing individual management experiences and exchanging ideas during group discussions, participants gain confidence in their managerial abilities and develop sources of consultation, advice and support that will endure well beyond the course.

Upon registering to SMIP, attendees are offered free PERF membership for the remainder of the calendar year, and a registration fee waiver for PERF’s next Annual Meeting. The extensive resources of PERF and SMIP are available to participants after the course. This commitment has helped make SMIP a national center for the education and training of the future leaders of policing.

What the Course Is All About
SMIP gives participants a clear understanding of general management theory, policy development, planning processes, and organizational behavior. Among the topics covered are diversity, political management, organizational strategy, performance management, organizational change, leadership, managerial problem-solving, strategy implementation, leadership communications, career planning, negotiation, the budgeting process, critical incident response, media relations, officer wellness, and new policing strategies and innovations.

The program requires extensive reading with classroom discussion of the issues presented in the readings. Participants are encouraged to apply the concepts and issues presented within their own organizations. Because of the program's intensity and daily group study, all participants are required to reside on campus for the program's duration, except weekends.

Because many participants have already completed post-graduate studies, SMIP does not offer college credit. However, former participants have been awarded graduate credit by colleges they attended upon presentation of the SMIP objectives and course curriculum.

Individual Commitment
SMIP is a very demanding, fast-paced, reading-intensive program that requires considerable commitment and hard work in class and after class through independent and group study assignments. Each day, participants will be called upon in class to offer their perspectives on the issues presented in the assigned cases and readings. A lack of preparedness will result not only in diminished success of the individual, but it can also impact the progress of the entire class. Keeping up with assignments and teamwork is essential.

Qualifications for Individual Attendance
Enrollment is limited. To qualify for SMIP, you must be the chief executive or a senior manager in your agency (lieutenant or above, or professional civilian staff equivalent) with significant responsibility for major agency activities. A four-year college degree—or the accumulation of 120 credit hours—from an accredited college or university is required.

The Online Application Process
Beginning October 2, SMIP applications will be accepted on the PERF website. SMIP tuition is set at $11,150. Tuition covers instruction, materials, planned events, lodging and meals throughout the program. A $550 credit card deposit is required to submit an online application. In the event an applicant is not accepted, the deposit will be promptly credited back to the card upon which the charge was made. Otherwise, deposits are non-refundable. If accepted, the balance of tuition is due and must be paid by check within 45 days of acceptance notification.   

If an accepted applicant needs to cancel their registration, they must let PERF know in writing as soon as possible. SMIP seats are transferable, and it is preferable that the agency find a replacement rather than forfeit the seat. If an applicant needs to cancel and no qualified replacement can be found:

  • Prior to 90 days of the start of the applicant’s session, PERF will issue a full tuition refund.
  • Between 30 – 90 days of the start of the applicant’s session, PERF will issue a tuition refund, minus the $550 deposit.
  • 30 days or less from the start of the applicant’s session, PERF will not be able to issue a tuition refund.*

*PERF will consider each late cancellation on a case-by-case basis, especially in the event of an agency, health, or family emergency.

SMIP Scholarships
PERF is excited to announce that we are offering SMIP scholarships again for the 2024 program to agencies and individuals who qualify. This scholarship is intended to benefit agencies that couldn’t otherwise send members to SMIP. Each scholarship will cover tuition ($11,150.00) and flights to/from Boston.

Please read the criteria below to see if you or your agency qualify for a scholarship.

  • The applicant’s agency must not have sent a member to SMIP within the last 5 years (since the 2018 program).
  • The applicant must meet the basic requirements to attend SMIP (achieved the rank of lieutenant or above (or a civilian equivalent) and have a bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent of 120-credit hours).
  • The applicant must provide a one-page letter of recommendation from the head of their agency. If the applicant is a chief, then they must have a letter of recommendation from their city manager.
  • The applicant must provide a brief professional bio, including professional goals, such as the desire to become a chief or a member of a command staff.
  • The applicant must submit a brief memo describing a current professional challenge or a challenge their agency is facing and describing how SMIP would assist them in overcoming that challenge.
  • The applicant must become a PERF member if they are not one already.

After an initial review of applications, PERF will conduct phone interviews with scholarship finalists.

If you have questions or would like to submit application materials, please contact Matt Harman at [email protected] by Friday, November 17th.

SMIP Graduates Can Get Credit Toward a Master's Degree
Graduates of SMIP can now get transfer credit toward an M.S. in Law Enforcement & Public Safety Leadership from the University of San Diego. Click here for details. 

For More Information 
Questions should be directed to SMIP Program Manager Matt Harman at 202-454-8302 (direct), 301-785-4019 (cell/text), or [email protected] or Senior Principal Dan Alioto at 202-454-8337 (direct) or [email protected]

 The Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) are not affiliated with Boston University. Although SMIP is scheduled to occur on the campus of Boston University, the use of University facilities and/or property does not constitute or imply the endorsement or support of SMIP or PERF by Boston University.