Preparing police executives for
the challenges of today and tomorrow

All SMIP 2021 sessions are now full.  Below is a link to register for the SMIP 2021 Waitlist. Should seats become available, PERF will contact you in the order you submitted your information to the waitlist

SMIP Waitlist


SMIP 2021 Update 

On January 6th, we were informed that Boston University’s administration decided to keep the university closed to outside events like SMIP through the summer. We are disappointed that we won’t be able to hold SMIP at our usual venue, but we understand that this decision was made with the intention of protecting their faculty, staff and students, and allowing the university to prepare for the fall semester. 

PERF remains committed to providing a full, in-person program this year and we are actively working to secure another venue that will be convenient, accommodating and exciting for all SMIP attendees.  

Based on last years’ experience, PERF had already begun exploring several attractive options and locations for holding SMIP in the event BU could not host us this year. Not surprisingly, locations are waiting for COVID-19 cases to decline and vaccination numbers to increase before they commit to planning large events. It is still very early in the timeline, but vaccination rates will be a vital decision-making component for many states and venues when considering whether or not to permit large gatherings. 

As was the case last year, the safety of everyone remains first and foremost. PERF is keeping all options on the table as we plan SMIP this summer. PERF is looking at both the location and timing of SMIP to ensure that we have a safe, productive, and enjoyable program for our attendees. 

We are working to keep the 2021 assigned session dates the same at the new venue. However if local conditions don’t improve significantly PERF may look at pushing SMIP back to August or September or to a different city. We are going to do everything in our power to make SMIP happen this summer! 

We will advertise additional details as soon as we have them. 

In the meantime, please direct any questions to Matt Harman at [email protected] or Dan Alioto at [email protected]  Thank you for your enthusiasm for SMIP and your patience while PERF plans this summer’s program, and thank you for the work you and your agencies have been doing to keep your community safe during the pandemic. 


 Chuck Wexler


A Note about SMIP 2021

This is a difficult time for policing. The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the protests following the killing of George Floyd and the calls to “defund the police,” have challenged police leaders like never before. And the impacts of these events are likely to be felt for years to come.

That is why SMIP is more crucial than ever. PERF is doing everything we can to make sure that SMIP 2021 takes place as planned next summer and that we can accommodate as many students as possible.

As many of you know,PERF had to cancel the 2020 SMIP sessions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PERF offered those who were registered for the 2020 sessions the option to roll over their seats and tuitions to 2021 or receive a refund. Most of the registered attendees opted to roll over to 2021. There are still spots open for the 2021 sessions, but availability will be limited.

In addition, our host, Boston University (BU), is operating under Massachusetts’s COVID-19 Reopening Guidelines. For summer 2021, both PERF and BU are hoping to return as close to “business as usual” as possible, without restrictions on group size or other aspects of the program. As we have learned, however, SMIP 2021 is too far in the future to know exactly what will happen.

Starting on October 1st, PERF will accept applications for SMIP 2021 as usual. However, PERF will not be able to guarantee new applicants a seat at SMIP until we know whether BU and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will have any restrictions on public gatherings next summer. If we cannot accommodate you, we will refund your deposit and any tuition payments made in-full.

Finally, due to the financial toll that recent events have had on agency budgets, PERF will not increase tuition for 2021 sessions. The tuition will remain at last year’s rate of $9,950.

We continue to plan for a great summer and to make the 2021 SMIP sessions the most engaging and impactful yet. This is an unprecedented time for policing, and PERF remains committed to helping prepare the profession’s leaders to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. PERF appreciates your continued support and patience as we move forward.

Questions should be directed to Senior Research Associate Matt Harman at 202-454-8302 (direct), 301-785-4019 (cell/text), or [email protected] or Senior Associate Dan Alioto at 202-454-8337 (direct) or [email protected]. 

Chuck Wexler
Executive Director


The policing profession is changing like never before. Today’s police executives face challenges that did not exist a decade ago, or even a year ago. The COVID-19 pandemic, the public outcry over questionable police use-of-force situations, the opioid crisis, increasing homelessness, the constantly evolving domestic terror threat, and the implications of cyber and other crimes stemming from new technologies – all of these represent new and difficult challenges for police leaders.

Communities expect more from their police departments in terms of appropriate use of force, procedural justice, accountability and transparency. Police executives seeking to employ new technologies are now often faced with public scrutiny over privacy and other concerns. Issues related to officer wellness, mental health and police suicides are also taking on new prominence. Plus, today’s recruits differ in significant ways from previous generations, and recruitment is becoming ever more difficult. Chiefs and Sheriffs must find new ways to address these issues and deliver a wider scope of services, often with fewer resources. The very nature of leadership in policing is changing.

Our goal with SMIP is to ensure that the instruction reflects the best thinking about the changes that are taking place in the field. The SMIP curriculum is continually updated, and the SMIP faculty has the experience and wisdom to prepare attendees to address the current and future challenges in policing. The SMIP program is always informed by recommendations of former SMIP attendees as well as the leading practitioners and academics who participate in PERF’s conferences.


Program Overview
SMIP is a program of the Police Executive Research Forum that provides senior police executives with intensive training in the latest management concepts and practices used in business and government. It also features discussions of the most challenging issues facing law enforcement executives today.

A demanding three-week course, SMIP brings together a faculty from top universities, successful law enforcement chief executives, and subject matter experts from the private sector. It is designed for mid- to upper-level police executives who ultimately will lead police agencies throughout the United States and other participating countries. SMIP’s curriculum addresses the issues that demand the attention of today’s forward-thinking law enforcement leaders. Classes are held at the Boston University School of Law, where participants learn and reside in the university’s modern classrooms and residence hall.


The SMIP Value Proposition
SMIP brings together leading thinkers in corporate and public management to provide intensive training in the latest management theories and practice, innovative solutions to organizational problems, and discussion of important issues in managing public service organizations effectively. The program’s goal is to give police managers the same quality of management education available to other leaders in the public and private sectors.

As a developmental program for the profession’s current and future leaders, SMIP focuses on leadership and executive development. The curriculum is much more conceptual than technical and requires participants to think in broad terms about their agencies’ environment and operations. Readings and class discussions stimulate critical thinking and problem-solving.

Participants emerge with an understanding of advanced management practices and effective leadership. They also develop an enhanced awareness of the management methods and resources necessary for fulfilling current or future responsibilities. By sharing individual management experiences and exchanging ideas during group discussions, participants gain confidence in their managerial abilities and develop sources of consultation, advice and support that will endure well beyond the course.

Upon graduation, attendees are offered free PERF membership for the remainder of the calendar year, and a registration fee waiver for PERF’s next Annual Meeting. The extensive resources of PERF and SMIP are available to participants after the course. This commitment has helped make SMIP a national center for the education and training of the future leaders of policing.


What the Course Is All About
SMIP gives participants a clear understanding of general management theory, policy development, planning processes, and organizational behavior. Among the topics covered are diversity, political management, organizational strategy, performance management, organizational change, leadership, managerial problem-solving, strategy implementation, leadership communications, career planning, negotiation, the budgeting process, critical incident response, media relations, officer wellness, and new policing strategies and innovations.

The program requires extensive reading with classroom discussion of the issues presented in the readings. Participants are encouraged to apply the concepts and issues presented within their own organizations. Because of the program's intensity and daily group study, all participants are required to reside on campus for the program's duration, except weekends.

Because many participants have already completed post-graduate studies, SMIP does not offer college credit. However, former participants have been awarded graduate credit by colleges they attended upon presentation of the SMIP objectives and course curriculum.

Individual Commitment
SMIP is a very demanding, fast-paced, reading-intensive program that requires considerable commitment and hard work in class and after class through independent and group study assignments. Each day, participants will be called upon in class to offer their perspective on the issues presented in the assigned cases and readings. A lack of preparedness will result not only in diminished success of the individual, but it can also impact the progress of the entire class. Keeping up with assignments and teamwork are essential.

Qualifications for Individual Attendance
Enrollment is limited. To qualify for SMIP, you must be the chief executive or a senior manager in your agency (lieutenant or above, or civilian equivalent) with significant responsibility for major agency activities. A four-year college degree—or the accumulation of 120 credit hours—from an accredited college or university is required.

The Online Application Process
Beginning October 1, SMIP applications will be accepted on the PERF website. SMIP tuition for 2021 is $9,950. Tuition covers instruction, materials, planned events, lodging and meals throughout the program. A $250 credit card deposit is required to submit an online application. In the event an applicant is not accepted, the deposit will be promptly credited back to the card upon which the charge was made. Otherwise, deposits are non-refundable. All applicants will be notified as to their acceptance within ten days of application submission. If accepted, the balance of tuition is due and must be paid by check within 45 days of acceptance notification.   

For More Information
Questions should be directed to Senior Research Associate Matt Harman at 202-454-8302 (direct), 301-785-4019 (cell/text), or [email protected] or Senior Associate Dan Alioto at 202-454-8337 (direct) or [email protected].