Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative releases "Fostering Innovation to Respond to Top Challenges in Law Enforcement" report

The Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative, a collaboration between PERF, the RAND Corporation, RTI International, and the University of Denver, has published the findings of an expert panel that convened in August 2018 to identify the top issues facing law enforcement and innovations that could potentially address those issues. Panelists discussed the need for all criminal justice stakeholders to take a coordinated approach to addressing the complicated issues confronting the field, and recommended convening a national commission on criminal justice to consider systemic changes to policing on a national level.

Click here to read the key findings, recommendations, and the full report.


Former Denver Police Chief Robert White Receives PERF Leadership Award

PERF is pleased to announce that Retired Denver Chief of Police Robert C. White was chosen to receive the 2019 Leadership Award. Prior to his almost seven years in Denver, Chief White led the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Greensboro, NC Police Department. He began his career with the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, where he attained the rank of Assistant Chief. From 2015-2018, Chief White served on PERF’s Board of Directors.

“There are very few who are on the Mount Rushmore of American policing, but R.C. White is certainly one of them,” PERF President Scott Thomson said in presenting the award to Chief White.

A video of Chief White receiving the Leadership Award can be seen here:



Tucson Deputy Chief Chad Kasmar Receives the Gary Hayes Memorial Award

The 2019 Gary P. Hayes Award was presented to Tucson Deputy Chief of Police Chad Kasmar at PERF’s Annual Meeting in Miami Beach. The award, named for PERF’s first executive director, is given annually to an emerging police leader who has created innovative ways of achieving goals.

Deputy Chief Kasmar led the implementation of the Tucson’s Critical Incident Review Board, which analyzes critical incidents for the purpose of identifying ways in which policies, training, equipment, or programs can be changed to achieve better outcomes in the future.

A video of Deputy Chief Kasmar receiving the Hayes Award can be seen here:



PERF and NYPD Co-Host Symposium on Preventing Suicide Among Members of Law Enforcement

On April 2nd, PERF and the NYPD co-hosted a national symposium preventing suicide among members of law enforcement. Held at NYPD headquarters, the meeting was attended by more than 325 police officials, researchers, and mental health and social service professionals. They engaged in a day-long discussion of what we know about police suicide and what can be done to prevent it. A report on this topic is forthcoming, and the conference was covered by ABC News and the Washington Post:


Spotlight on Sheriffs: Innovation and Promising Programs in the Seminole County Sheriff's Office

This edition of Spotlight on Sheriffs highlights some of the promising initiatives underway in the Seminole County, Florida Sheriff's Office. Issues discussed include: school safety; mental health response; emergency and natural disaster response; reentry programs; and pretrial diversion. Click on the headline above to read more about innovation in Seminole County.


New PERF Report: "Reducing Gun Violence: What Works, and What Can Be Done Now"

PERF's latest Critical Issues report discusses what can be done to reduce gun violence in American communities. We began this project by asking PERF chiefs and sheriffs to name the one policy or program they consider most effective in reducing gun violence. We compiled these ideas and used them as a starting point for discussions at a national conference in which 175 police chiefs, sheriffs, and other experts told us what they know. The findings in this report are based on what we heard from those police chiefs and other experts.

In brief, we found that the "gun violence problem" is actually 4 distinct problems:

  • "Everyday" homicides and shootings stemming from gang violence, interpersonal disputes, shootings committed during robberies or other crimes, etc.;
  • Domestic violence-related shootings;
  • Mass shootings; and
  • Suicides committed with guns.

For each type of gun violence, we gathered the facts and wrote recommendations for action, with an emphasis on what can be done now. Click on the headline above to read the full report.