Preparing today’s police executives for 
the challenges of the next decade and beyond

At this time, all 2020 SMIP sessions are closed. 

Questions should be directed to Senior Research Associate Matt Harman at 202-454-8302 (direct), 301-785-4019 (cell/text), or [email protected] or Senior Associate Dan Alioto at 202-454-8337 (direct) or [email protected]. 

The policing profession is changing like never before. Today’s police executives face challenges that did not exist a decade ago. The opioid crisis, increasing homelessness, the constantly evolving domestic terror threat, and the implications of cyber and other crimes stemming from new technologies represent new and difficult challenges for police leaders. Communities expect more from their police departments in terms of appropriate use of force, procedural justice, increased accountability and transparency. Police executives seeking to employ new technologies are now often faced with public scrutiny over privacy and other concerns. Officer wellness, mental health issues and police suicides are also on the rise. Plus, today’s recruits differ in significant ways from previous generations. Recruitment is becoming ever 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 former 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 are held at the Boston University School of Law, where participants learn and reside in the university’s leading 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 graduation, 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 the PERF and SMIP remain 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, process analysis, 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 the majority of 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 perspective 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 are 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 civilian 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

SMIP tuition for 2020 is $9,950. Tuition covers instruction, materials, planned events, lodging and meals throughout the program.  A $250 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. All applicants will be notified as to their acceptance within ten days of application submission. If accepted, the balance of tuition is due and must be paid by check within 45 days of acceptance notification.   

For More Information

Questions should be directed to Senior Research Associate Matt Harman at 202-454-8302 (direct), 301-785-4019 (cell/text), or [email protected] or Senior Associate Dan Alioto at 202-454-8337 (direct) or [email protected].