PERF webinar series: Supporting Officer Wellness - Examples from the Field

PERF is hosting a five-webinar series focused on officer safety and wellness issues. The series stems from a study of officer safety and wellness that PERF conducted in partnership with NORC at the University of Chicago, with funding from the National Institute of Justice. That project involved agency-level surveys on their programming for staff and officer-level surveys on mental and physical well-being. The webinars include a short presentation on research findings relevant to the webinar topic and then feature a panel of practitioners talking about their experiences with bringing health and wellness programming to their agencies.

  • Webinar 1: Fostering Holistic Health and Wellness in Law Enforcement - January 23, 2024
  • Webinar 2: Police Perceptions of their Work and its Impact on their Health - February 7, 2024, 2:00-3:30 EST
  • Webinar 3: Promoting Health and Wellness for Women in Policing
  • Webinar 4: Supporting Officers After a Critical Incident: Model Programs
  • Webinar 5: Managing Officers’ Everyday Health Issues

Click here for more information.


PERF survey finds police hiring rises, but does not keep pace with increases in resignations and retirements

Last year, PERF asked its members to share information about their agencies’ staffing numbers in 2019, 2020, and 2021. This year, we updated that survey to include staffing information about 2022.

The findings, available below, show both some good and bad news. Hiring seems to be picking back up, as responding agencies reported hiring more sworn officers in 2022 than in 2021, 2020, or even 2019—the last pre-pandemic year.

However, agencies are losing officers faster than they can hire new ones, so total sworn staffing has continued to decline.


National ICAT Conference in San Diego on January 24-25

Since PERF launched the Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT) training in 2016, agencies across 33 states and Canada have taught their officers ICAT. PERF has continually updated the training material by adding new case studies, refining PowerPoint slides, and creating a seventh module, “Step Up and Step In.” To keep ICAT trainers updated on the latest materials and training practices, PERF is holding an in-person conference in San Diego on January 24-25. At this conference, PERF and experienced ICAT trainers will share updates to the training program, discuss model fidelity, and ask agencies to share lessons they’ve learned as they’ve implemented ICAT.

For more information and to register, click here.


Video: Highlights from the 2022 PERF Town Hall Meeting at the IACP Conference

Highlights of the PERF Town Hall Meeting at the IACP Conference in Dallas on October 16, 2022. Topics included gun violence, police officer shortages, consent decrees, the Public Safety Officer Support Act, and community policing.



Media Release: Police Executive Research Forum Announces Summer Internship Program with the Baltimore Police Department and Historically Black Colleges and Universities 

Executive Director Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), President David Wilson of Morgan State University, and President Anthony L. Jenkins, PhD, of Coppin State University announced a new partnership between PERF, BPD, and Baltimore’s two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Morgan State University and Coppin State University.

Under the partnership, eight students or recent graduates of the two universities will spend the summer working in the Baltimore Police Department, learning about police operations, and offering insights on how policing in diverse communities such as Baltimore can be improved.

Click here to learn more about this initiative.


Video: Overview of challenges from the past two years

PERF opened its June 2022 Town Hall Meeting with this video about challenges policing faced over the past two years, including COVID-19, demonstrations for racial justice and police reform, a spike in violent crimes, and the ongoing challenges of hiring and retaining personnel.



Survey: Staffing, hiring, retirement, and resignation trends from 2019 through 2021

Reports from individual agencies and a previous PERF survey show that many police agencies have experienced staffing challenges over the past two years.

To better understand these trends, PERF surveyed its members regarding staffing, hiring, retirement, and resignation trends among officers from 2019 through 2021.

The survey found that agencies still face serious staffing issues. Hiring of new officers seemed to rebound in 2021 after falling sharply in 2020. However, increases in resignations and retirements continued to put pressure on overall staffing levels of officers.

Click here to view the full survey.


Watch PERF's June 2021 Virtual Town Hall Meeting


PERF's virtual Town Hall Meeting, held June 22, 2021, covered three topics:

  • Why Is There a Surge in Homicides and Shootings, and What Are Police Chiefs Doing About It?
    • NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea
    • Portland, OR Chief Chuck Lovell
    • Louisville Metro Chief Erika Shields
    • Baton Rouge, LA Chief Murphy Paul
  • Priorities and Perspectives from the Department of Justice
    • Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco
    • Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta
  • The State of Police-Media Relations: Viewpoints from 3 Reporters
    • Tom Jackman, Washington Post
    • Tami Abdollah, USA Today
    • Pierre Thomas, ABC News



Webinar: Managing Demonstrations: New Strategies for Protecting Protesters and the Police

On April 15, 2021, PERF held a webinar to discuss the challenges police agencies face today with managing demonstrations and strategies for improving the police response in the future.


  • Assistant Chief Jeffery Carroll, Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department
  • Brian Castner, Senior Crisis Advisor - Weapons & Military Operations, Amnesty International
  • Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
  • Commissioner Michael Harrison, Baltimore Police Department
  • Associate Professor Tamara Herold, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Chief Skip Holbrook, Columbia, SC Police Department
  • Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr, Police Scotland
  • Tara Murray, Civil and Human Rights Attorney

Click here to view the findings and recommendations presented at the meeting.


PERF's October 2020 Virtual Town Hall Meeting

The October 2020 Town Hall Meeting included discussion about managing demonstrations and protests in 2020, increases in homicides and shootings, and a new study on the impact of ICAT training. The meeting concluded with the presentation of the 2020 Gary Hayes and Leadership Awards.


PERF's June 2020 Virtual Town Hall Meetings

Part 1, held on June 18, 2020, featured four panels discussing the following topics: responding to COVID-19; demonstrations following the death of George Floyd; use of force; and "defunding" the police.


Part 2, held on June 30, 2020, covered a wide range of topics, including recent high-profile incidents; crime increases in some cities; the impact of COVID-19 on police operations; police training and culture; and calls to “defund” the police. 



Highlights from the PERF Town Hall Meeting in Chicago


For more from the Town Hall Meeting, read the December issue of Subject to Debate.


PERF/RAND Corporation report: "Identifying Law Enforcement Needs for Conducting Criminal Investigations Involving Evidence on the Dark Web" 

PERF and the RAND Corporation, with support from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), assembled a group of researchers and practitioners to discuss challenges and potential solutions around evidence on the dark web. This group identified 46 needs, including training improvements and better inter-agency information sharing both nationally and internationally.

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


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.