Mentoring Program

NACOLE Professional Mentoring Program

The NACOLE Professional Mentoring Program offers opportunities for experienced and newer police oversight professionals to continue their professional development through formal mentoring relationships.

Mentors Offer Solutions

Newer police oversight professionals often face challenges that have been faced previously by mentors in their own careers.  As a result, mentors can provide feedback, guidance, tools, and specific resources to these newer professionals on good professional practices. Some of the more common issues faced by newer police oversight professionals include:

  • Effective communication between police oversight, law enforcement, and communities;
  • Professionalism and ethics;
  • Conducting and reviewing investigations;
  • Policy analysis;
  • Career enhancement;
  • Balancing careers with family and personal lives; and
  • Diversity issues.

Program Features

Participation in the program is voluntary, and one-on-one relationships between mentors and mentees are developed through regular communication via telephone and/or e-mail, usually on a monthly basis, participation in topic-specific conference calls and other professional growth opportunities.  Click here to see an article about the program from the summer 2010 edition of The NACOLE Review [insert link to NACOLE Review]

Some of the program's activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Completing professional needs assessment surveys;
  • Setting short-, mid- and long-term career goals and tracking progress in accomplishing those goals over time;
  • Presenting together at the annual conference;
  • Discussing scholarly research on policing and police accountability;
  • Building skill sets in specific areas such as conducting complaint investigations;
  • Talking about general management and leadership principles; and
  • Helping prepare for job openings in civilian oversight of law enforcement.

During each annual conference, the program hosts an informal get together, which is a great opportunity for many of the program participants to meet face-to-face for the first time.  Additionally, each January, which is National Mentoring Month, the program honors all of its participants for their dedication and commitment to the growth and development of others with exciting activities and opportunities to share experiences from across the program’s mentor and mentee matches.

Quotes from program participants

Newer Oversight Professional (Mentee)

“Having someone available to me who has experience with many of the issues I am facing currently as a newer police oversight professional has been extremely helpful. And although I have experience in the public and private sectors, my mentor has provided me with invaluable advice about setting and managing my short- and long-term career goals in this field.”

Sarah Richardson, Los Angeles, California

Experienced Oversight Professional (Mentor)

“In combination with [our] agency’s overall training, we think that the [mentoring] program will help our employees grow professionally, all the while enhancing their job-related skills.  This ultimately works to the public’s advantage.”

Philip K. Eure, Washington, DC


Brian Buchner, Program Coordinator