August 21, 2021

A lot going on this week at PERF


Dear PERF members,

This week, let’s catch up with a few things that are going on at PERF.  In some businesses, summer is the time for vacations and taking it easy, but for some reason it’s always one of the busiest times at PERF.

SMIP in Orlando

First, it was tremendous to be doing the Senior Management Institute for Police again, and to see the energy and vitality that only in-person meetings can bring.  We always try to get feedback from SMIP students, and these men and women tell us they are energized by the teaching that takes place, but also the learning that happens after classes are over and they’re out getting dinner or socializing.

We always get such a great variety of SMIP students. We had a total of 388 students this year in four sessions. They came from 35 states and the District of Columbia, and from every type of agency you can think of – not just municipal police and sheriffs’ agencies, but also airport police, campus police, housing authority and school district police, prosecutors’ offices, federal agencies, and others. Of course, we had representation from big cities like NYC, Los Angeles, and Chicago, but also from smaller jurisdictions like Tybee Island, GA and Alliance, NE.

During a period of much soul searching about the future of policing, we felt a great deal of excitement among SMIP students for stepping up and being the leaders of tomorrow. As Chuck Ramsey said while discussing controversial incidents during our final session yesterday, “We cannot let the few define the many.” Spending some time with our SMIP students this summer gives me a lot of confidence in the “many.”

As you know, we moved SMIP to Orlando this year, because Boston University had canceled all summer programs. Orlando turned out to be great location. Kudos to Matt Harman, Dan Alioto, and all the other PERF staff who made SMIP such a success.

Registration for SMIP 2022 opens up in October. Information about our plans will be posted on PERF’s website in September. We’re planning four sessions in 2022 – two in June, and two in July. Sessions usually fill up quickly. Please contact SMIP Manager Matt Harman for details at [email protected] or 202-454-8302.

Women in Police Leadership

Only about 1 in 8 full-time sworn police officers in the U.S. are women. For supervisory and leadership positions, the numbers are even lower.

So PERF is researching why women remain underrepresented in American policing and what can be done about it.

Earlier this year, we fielded a survey to our female members and other women in law enforcement. The survey was designed to capture the career experiences of a wide range of female law enforcement personnel. We received 664 responses (an impressive total!), which provided a wealth of information about the obstacles and opportunities facing women in policing.

To drill down further on some key issues, PERF this week hosted two online meetings with two dozen female police leaders, both current and retired. Led by PERF staff members Amanda Barber and Jessica Toliver, these sessions explored recruitment and promotion, training and career development, cultural issues facing women, and related issues. I want to thank all those who participated in our survey and the meetings for their candor and insights.

PERF will be publishing the results of our research this fall, as part of our Critical Issues in Policing series, which is supported by the Motorola Solutions Foundation. I think our report will break new ground on the advancement of women in policing – and, as a result, the advancement of policing overall. For more information, contact Amanda Barber at [email protected]

Town Hall Meeting in New Orleans

We’re looking forward to the PERF Town Hall Meeting at IACP, which is just around the corner. We’ll be holding the Town Hall on Sunday, September 12th from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Central Time in the Great Hall at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

If you’ve never attended a PERF Town Hall Meeting, it's a 4-hour, free-flowing conversation, with police leaders coming together to talk about the toughest issues they’re facing.

Much has happened since our last in-person Town Hall in October 2019 (talk about an understatement), so we’ll have no shortage of topics to discuss, including:

  • The sharp increases in homicides and shootings occurring in many cities;
  • Demonstrations and civil unrest seen in hundreds of cities last year;
  • Retirements, resignations, and the workforce crisis in policing;
  • The changing state of the COVID pandemic and what it means for policing;
  • The worsening opioid overdose epidemic;
  • Police reforms that are getting some traction, such as co-responder programs; and
  • The presentation of PERF’s annual Leadership Award and Gary Hayes Award.

We’ll have a big schedule and a limited amount of time, but if you’d like to suggest topics to add to the conversation, please email James McGinty at [email protected].

Town Hall ReceptionFollowing the Town Hall Meeting, PERF will host a reception from 5:00-7:00 p.m. right outside the Great Hall.

PERF is at Booth #1349 at IACPWhile you’re attending the IACP Conference, please stop by the PERF booth, which will be #1349 at the Exposition Hall. I always enjoy having one-on-one conversations with our members at the booth to hear what’s on your minds.

(As you may know, New Orleans is requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result from the previous 72 hours for entry into the convention center, restaurants, and other venues. And, per Louisiana’s mask mandate, masks will be required for IACP 2021 attendees.)

ICAT Training in Colorado

We’re also continuing our national roll-out of “train-the-trainer” opportunities for ICAT (Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics). Our New England session in Saco, Maine in late July went well, and on August 31-September 1, we’ll hold a session at the Broomfield, Colorado Police Training Center.  This session is for police departments in all the states that border Colorado (KS, NE, WY, UT, AZ, NM, and OK).  Details are available here.

New Survey on Violent Crime Rates

PERF is also in the midst of conducting a survey of our members on violent crime rates. We know that crime patterns are changing rapidly. We conducted a similar survey last November when we were hearing about sharp increase in homicides, and sure enough, among 223 responding agencies, the total number of homicides had increased 28%.

We haven’t seen any evidence that this trend is reversing, so we want to know whether homicides and shootings are still on a bad upward trend and what’s happening with other violent crimes like robbery and carjackings. To get a better understanding of these crime patterns, we disseminated a survey to all of PERF’s members who are also the head of their agency. I’m grateful to all the PERF members who have sent us their information, and it’s not too late, so I’d appreciate hearing from more of you. If you are the head of your agency you will have received an email that contains the link to the survey where you can submit your agency’s data.

If you have any questions about the survey or would like to be resent the survey link, please contact Sarah Mostyn at [email protected].

I’m looking forward to a productive fall season, and I’m hoping that more and more people will continue to get vaccinated, so the pandemic can recede and let us get back to something resembling normal!

Weekend Clips are below.  Have a great weekend.



P.S.:  I received a lot of comments about my column last week about “stuff.”   People said it resonated with them and made them laugh. Here in Orlando, finishing SMIP, of course I got a lot more stuff. Here is just one day’s haul!