Preparing today’s police executives for 
the challenges of the next decade and beyond


Registration for the Summer 2020 sessions of SMIP opens on October 1, 2019. Watch this page for additional information.


The policing profession is changing like never before. New technologies and privacy issues, the implications of cybercrime, and the constantly evolving terror threat represent new and difficult challenges for police that did not exist a generation ago. Communities also expect more from their police departments in terms of procedural justice, increased accountability and transparency, appropriate use of force and racial reconciliation. Plus, today’s recruits differ in significant ways from previous generations. Chiefs 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 Boston University, where participants learn and reside in the university’s leading 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 the PERF and SMIP remain 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, career planning, negotiation, process analysis, media relations, 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 the majority of 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

Online SMIP registration will open on October 1st, on the PERF website.


 Investing in Your Development

Tuition for the 2019 sessions of SMIP is $9,750. A $250 deposit must be paid by credit card at the time of application. In the event an applicant is not accepted by PERF, the deposit will be refunded in full to the credit card to which it was charged. Otherwise deposits are non-refundable. Applicants will be officially notified, via email, of their acceptance within 14 days of their application. Applicants who are not accepted will be contacted by telephone.

Tuition includes: Instruction, books, materials, program activities and events, lodging and meals for the duration of the program. Tuition does NOT include travel expenses.  Applicants may choose to arrive one day before the program starts and remain on campus one day after the program ends at no additional cost, however meals before or after the program are not included.

For More Information

Questions should be directed to Tony Narr, PERF’s Director of Management Education, at 202-454-8316 (direct), 240-461-6426 (cell/text), or [email protected]