Anyone who is interested in policing, has completed a 4-year college degree program, and subscribes to PERF’s principles is eligible to join PERF.

The PERF Daily Clips are exclusively a benefit for PERF members. If you would like to receive the PERF Daily Clips, please consider submitting an application to join PERF.  The Daily Clips consists of a daily email to PERF members, listing the latest news media articles about issues in policing.  PERF members also obtain access to the Daily Clips Blog, a collection of past articles searchable by “tags” for the most common topics. This feature is useful for research purposes – for example, to quickly find news stories about other police departments that have implemented a new strategy or technology that you are considering.

PERF members also receive hard copies as well as digital copies of PERF reports and our newsletter, Subject to Debate.  And PERF members receive invitations to participate in PERF conferences and national and regional meetings.

PERF's Principles

The principles that guide PERF are:

1. Research, experimentation, and exchange of ideas through public discussion and debate are paths for development of a professional body of knowledge about policing;

2. Substantial and purposeful academic study is a prerequisite for acquiring, understanding and adding to the body of knowledge of professional police management;

3. Maintenance of the highest standards of ethics and integrity is imperative to the improvement of policing;

4. The police must, within the limits of the law, be responsible and accountable to citizens as the ultimate source of police authority; and

5. The principles embodied in the Constitution are the foundation of policing.

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP ($475/calendar year)

To qualify for general membership, a person must:

  • Be the executive head of a municipal, county or state-funded agency that provides general police services. The agency must have at least 100 full-time employees, or serve a population of 50,000 or more people. 
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.


SUSTAINING MEMBERSHIP ($150/calendar year)

For general and subscribing members who have retired.


SUBSCRIBING MEMBERSHIP ($200/calendar year)

If you do not qualify for general membership, you may qualify as a subscribing member, provided you have at least a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.

Subscribing members include:

  • Executive heads of law enforcement agencies that fall below the size threshold for general membership.
  • Members of law enforcement agencies of any size who hold a position other than the executive head of the agency.
  • Members of other criminal justice system agencies.
  • Members of institutes, research bureaus, law enforcement associations, criminal justice planning councils and other organizations engaged in criminal justice research and administration.
  • Professors of accredited colleges and universities who teach or conduct research in the field of criminal justice. 
  • People who have contributed significantly to improving the administration of justice and community safety.


Lifetime Membership

 PERF has a new category of membership called Lifetime Membership.  This type of membership is available to retirees who have been PERF members for 20 years or more.  In order to qualify for "Lifetime" membership, a sustaining PERF member must be retired from public service.  There is no membership fee for this group.  If you qualify for and are interested in this type of membership, please contact Balinda Cockrell at [email protected] or 202-454-8322. 

Click Here to Join PERF.