For PERF members who were unable to join us yesterday for our Virtual Town Hall Meeting, or who wish to review the discussions or share them with colleagues, a video recording of the two-hour event is available at

The Town Hall Meeting included the following discussions:

Managing Demonstrations and Protests in 2020

  • Portland, OR Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis
  • Kalamazoo, MI Chief Karianne Thomas (ret.)
  • Arizona State University Prof. Edward Maguire (Chairman of PERF’s Research Advisory Board)
  • Brian Castner, Senior Crisis Advisor on Weapons and Military Operations, Amnesty International

Homicides and Shootings: Why Are They Increasing?

  • University of Missouri - St. Louis Prof. Richard Rosenfeld
  • Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham
  • Oakland, CA Interim Police Chief Susan Manheimer
  • Del McFadden, Executive Director, Washington, DC Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement

New Research Study on the Impact of ICAT Training on Use-of-Force Outcomes

  • University of Cincinnati Professor Robin Engel


Gary P. Hayes Award Winners

Two up-and-coming leaders received PERF’s Gary P. Hayes Award this year:

Burlington, NC Lieutenant Shelly Katkowski

Lieutenant Katkowski serves as the Burlington Police Department’s Training Director, and “has been instrumental in every training initiative launched by our agency for the last five years,” according to Burlington Chief J. Jeffrey Smythe. That includes reforms laid out by the Obama Administration’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and PERF’s Guiding Principles on Use of Force.

Katkowski was one of the first trainers to bring PERF’s ICAT training to her department, resulting in a decline in Burlington officers’ use of force over four years, as well as reductions in injuries to officers and suspects.  She also served as a PERF research fellow for six months, where she served as one of PERF’s  first ICAT trainers, helped bring ICAT to many police departments, and helped to develop PERF’s Suicide by Cop module.  As a PERF fellow, Katkowski also contributed to PERF research and management studies.

Marvin (Ben) Haiman, Executive Director, Professional Development Bureau, Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department

Ben Haiman is a nationally known expert on police recruitment and retention strategies. At Washington, DC’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), he automated and streamlined the officer hiring process, making it faster and more user-friendly. As a result, MPD has maintained a healthy number of applicants, unlike other departments that have struggled, particularly as COVID disrupted recruiting programs.

Haiman also launched an innovative officer development and retention program called Police for Tomorrow, in conjunction with the Georgetown University Law Center.

And Haiman is one of the leading voices for change and innovation in police training. Changes that he has implemented at the MPD academy include emphasizing scenario-based training at a Washington, DC-specific tactical village; making physical fitness training part of a life-long wellness initiative; and better integrating field training with recruit training. He also organized a working group of training directors from across the country.


Leadership Award Winners

PERF awarded its highest honor, the Leadership Award, to three nominees this year:

Pinellas County, FL Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

Sheriff Gualtieri has created many new initiatives that have received national attention, including:

  • Pinellas Safe Harbor, an emergency homeless shelter and jail diversion program that provides services to persons experiencing homelessness and keeps them out of the criminal justice system;
  • An Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion program, which keeps minor-crime, first-time offenders out of jail;
  • A Mental Health Unit that diverts people to the mental health system rather than the criminal justice system;
  • Operation HOME (Habitual Offender Monitoring Enforcement), a countywide effort to reduce teen crime; and
  • A School Guardian Unit to ensure safer K-12 campuses in Pinellas County.

In PERF’s 2018 report, The Police Response to Homelessness, Sheriff Gualtieri explained why he created the Safe Harbor homeless facility, saying, “We had about 3,600 inmates in the county jail, and were facing projections of it going toward 3,800. We looked at the jail population and saw that a lot of the inmates were there on very minor crimes related to homelessness. Nobody was actually doing anything about the problem, and I was faced with 500 inmates on the floor of the jail, which was unworkable. It was an officer safety issue and an operational issue. So we opened our Pinellas Safe Harbor as a jail diversion program to deal with the chronic homeless. The jail population dramatically went down and now it’s about 3,100, which is manageable. The average cost of housing inmates in the county jail is $126 per person per day. We house them in the Safe Harbor for $13 a day on average, and we’re getting them services.”

Sheriff Gaultieri’s leadership talents also were recognized following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSDHS) in 2018.  He was named chair of the MSDHS Public Safety Commission, which issued a 500-page report detailing a wide range of effective school safety measures.

Tucson Chief of Police Chris Magnus

As Chief in Tucson, and earlier as police chief in Richmond, CA and Fargo, ND, Chris Magnus has created programs that serve as models for other agencies, including:

The importance of first-line supervisors:  In Tucson, when police officers qualify for promotion to sergeant, they are sent to a 40-hour Sergeants Academy before they are promoted. The training consists mostly of scenario-based exercises, where aspiring sergeants demonstrate how they would handle incidents such as a suicide-by-cop situation, an unruly person at a bar, a hit-and-run traffic incident with a fleeing suspect, etc.  Tucson police lieutenants and sergeants evaluate the aspiring sergeants’ performance in the scenarios, discussing what went well and what needs improvement.

Police accountability and reform:  In 2020, Chief Magnus launched a new process for evaluating critical incidents called the Sentinel Event Review Board. This Board is designed to conduct a process similar to the National Transportation Safety Board’s review of transportation accidents. Its goal is not to consider criminal charges or assign blame to individuals, but rather to identify underlying weaknesses in policies, training, or practices. The Board recently released its first report, which identified contributing factors that led to the deaths of two men in Tucson police custody.

Officer wellness: Magnus has been a forward-thinking leader. While Chief in Fargo more than 15 years ago, he created a Peer Assistance Counseling Team to provide critical incident stress debriefing and peer counseling to officers.

Reforms in Richmond:  During his time in Richmond, Magnus took a department that had strained relations with the community and rebuilt it as a model for community engagement. He also focused on crime rates, establishing a COMPSTAT-style model that contributed to a drop in homicides, from 49 in 2007 to 11 in 2014.

Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo

Chief Acevedo has been a national leader in advocating reforms and professionalism in policing. One of his highest priorities has been to develop mechanisms for officers to create strong communications with the communities they serve. He has developed a type of community policing called “relational policing,” in which officers strive to forge a relationship with every person they come in contact with.

Acevedo has testified before Congress many times on policing issues, telling the House Judiciary Committee in June 2020 that “defunding the police without addressing the socio-economic reality faced by poor communities… would increase the need for police services,” and that “we must acknowledge that law enforcement’s past contains institutional racism, injustices, and brutality.” He also has been outspoken on immigration issues, saying that “the key to immigration enforcement is not rhetoric; it’s not instilling fear and pushing people further into the darkness.”

Acevedo also is a proponent of data-driven, intelligence-led policing strategies that reduce crime rates, including development of a Regional Intelligence Center that allows multiple law enforcement agencies to collaborate and share information, as well as Real Time Crime Centers that improve the tactical response to calls for emergency police response, providing actionable intelligence to patrol officers that starts before they arrive at the scene. He also has given officers increased training on handling calls that involve persons with mental health issues.

(Note: Chief Acevedo was unable to participate in the Town Hall Meeting because of the shooting of two Houston officers yesterday, one fatally, during a domestic disturbance call.)


The PERF Critical Issues Report is part of the Critical Issues in Policing project, supported by the Motorola Solutions Foundation.


PERF also is grateful to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation for supporting this work.