2020 Membership Survey Results

2020 NACOLE Membership Survey Results

Thank you to the 74 members who responded to our 2020 survey. Below are the summarized responses to the non-demographic/logistical questions. NACOLE is using this information to help design future programming, enhance member services, and as key data in developing our 2025 Strategic Plan.

If you have attended a NACOLE conference in the last 4 years, what were the top three things that you valued in your conference experience? 

Top 3 #1 Choices:
34% Information presented in conference sessions
23% Catching up with oversight colleagues & friends
20% Discussing challenges in oversight work

Top 3 #2 Choices:
28% Discussing challenges in oversight work
19% Learning new skills that I can use in my work
18% Information presented in conference sessions

Top 3 #3 Choices:
27% Discussing challenges in oversight work
18% Information presented in conference sessions
15% Learning new skills that I can use in my work
15% Catching up with oversight colleagues & friends


What programs and services do you expect from NACOLE?

Top 3 #1 Choices:
55% Encourage law enforcement accountability and/or reform
18% Training and education for oversight practitioners
12% Promote oversight of law enforcement nationally

Top 3 #2 Choices:
23% Promote oversight of law enforcement nationally
20% Encourage law enforcement accountability and/or reform
16% Networking opportunities for members

Top 3 #3 Choices:
20% Networking opportunities for members
20% Training and education for oversight practitioners
12% Facilitate peer support


With which organizations/constituencies would you like to see NACOLE pursue greater communication?

Top 3 #1 Choices:
32% Academic/research institutions
28% Civil rights organizations
20% Organizations for municipal executives (civilian leaders of city, county, & state governments)

Top 3 #2 Choices:
23% Civil rights organizations
23% Organizations for municipal executives (civilian leaders of city, county, & state governments)
19% Academic/research institutions

Top 3 #3 Choices:
26% Organizations that offer accreditation for or pursue research about law
enforcement agencies (CALEA, PERF, ACA)
24% Organizations for municipal executives (civilian leaders of city, county, & state governments)
12% Organizations for police executives (ex. IACP, MCC)
12% Organizations for police officers


In what ways do you feel you can contribute to NACOLE as an organization? 

84% Participating in a NACOLE Conference
58% Serving on a NACOLE Committee
46% Delivering NACOLE Training (at a conference, webinar, or symposium)
42% Providing Peer Support or Mentorship
32% Serving on the NACOLE Board
7%   Fundraising Expertise
7%   Marketing Expertise
7%   Technology Expertise
7%   Other: advanced data analysis to support oversight, root cause investigations; being on a "Speakers Bureau" expressing the mission of civilian oversight of law enforcement; general  all-hands-on-deck busy work; and possibly a donation; an role of an aging early oversight supporter/ professional, able to remember & speak of conditions in        law enforcement/corrections conduct that led to growth of oversight--in the US since '70s; NACOLE's work and awe-inspiring growth & and contributions to constitutional policing since '97.
4% Grant Experience


Which training topics would be most helpful to you?

85% Analyzing Law Enforcement Policies & Practices
62% Impact of Oversight
53% Internal Accountability Methods in Law Enforcement
51% Data collection & analysis
50% Understanding Law Enforcement Culture & Practices
49% Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice System Reform
49% Community relations & outreach
47% Investigation
42% Models of Oversight
42% Public Reporting & Transparency
35% Working with Civilian Boards
24% Executive leadership
24% Mediation & Remediation
24% The work of Auditors & Monitors
19% Intake & Interviewing
19% Jail & Prison Oversight
0% Other


How important is it to you to receive accreditation from NACOLE as a Certified Practitioner of Oversight (CPO)?

35% Not Important
34% Very Important
31% Somewhat Important


How interested are you in online meetings with oversight professionals in your region of the United States? 

55% Very Interested
38% Somewhat Interested
7% Not Interested

Rank your top three preferences for communication from NACOLE:

Top 3 #1 Choices:
88% Email
5% Website
3% Phone
3% Text

Top 3 #2 Choices:
45% Website
16% Text
12% Phone

Top 3 #3 Choices:
34% Mail
19% Text
16% Facebook


Please indicate whether you strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, agree strongly, or not applicable (NA):


  Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Not Applicable (N/A)
My participation in NACOLE makes me a better oversight professional. 0% 3% 8% 34% 46% 9%
NACOLE Webinars in the past 3 years have covered topics areas that are useful to me in my work. 4% 5% 11% 35% 31% 16%
I/my organization would consider hiring NACOLE to conduct local training. 4% 7% 34% 20% 9% 26%
NACOLE sets high professional and ethical standards for the field of oversight. 0% 0% 16% 41% 41% 3%
NACOLE does a good job of providing support and technical assistance as requested when a new oversight organization is being contemplated or formed. 1% 1% 23% 32% 18% 24%
NACOLE does a good job of advocating for law enforcement oversight at the national level. 1% 9% 27% 32% 22% 8%
NACOLE does a good job of advocating for jail and prison oversight at the national level. 3% 5% 41% 22% 7% 23%
NACOLE does a good job of advocating for jail and prison oversight at the national level. 3% 5% 41% 22% 7% 23%
NACOLE does a good job of advocating for police oversight at the local level. 3% 8% 23% 45% 14% 8%
NACOLE does a good job of advocating for jail and prison oversight at the local level. 3% 5% 39% 27% 3% 23%
NACOLE does a good job of providing support/advocacy when an existing oversight agency is being challenged. 0% 7% 32% 32% 5% 23%
NACOLE treats all members with dignity and respect. 0% 1% 8% 45% 39% 7%
NACOLE is a diverse and inclusive organization. 0% 0% 14% 36% 41% 8%
NACOLE’s actions demonstrate that it is committed to valuing diversity and inclusion among its members. 0% 1% 16% 36% 41% 5%


Over the next 3-4 years how might you be willing to help NACOLE increase its financial capacity?

50% Contacting Colleagues in my region to encourage them to come to a
        NACOLE Conference
35% Becoming a Regular Individual Member
28% Making a Donation to NACOLE between conferences
18% Increasing the Amount of my Individual Membership Donation
11% Assisting with Writing a Grant
8%   Increasing the Amount of my Organization’s Membership Donation
8%   Soliciting Donations from Individuals
8%   Soliciting Donations from Organizations
7%   Identifying New Grant Opportunities


How has the pandemic affected you or your organization’s ability to conduct your regular oversight activities:

51% Restricted Access to Facilities
51% Restricted Access to Meetings
31% Decreased Organizational Budget
26% Restricted Access to Witnesses/Interviewees
19% NA
18% Technological Issues
15% Restricted Access to Data
4%   Other (impacted community outreach, online meetings are cumbersome and not user friendly, priorities shifted)


Please share any additional suggestions/concerns/comments you would like to offer regarding NACOLE.

  • As a member of a civilian oversight board, I would love to have access to a library of policies and documents developed by other civilian oversight boards. A repository/library of documents would significantly aid boards in researching possible policy changes, etc.
  • As always, abundant thanks to and gratitude for everyone doing the incredible heavy lifting you are.
  • Doing an amazing job in a difficult time.
  • Glad to see the NACOLE June 2nd press release regarding the Civilian Oversight Law Enforcement Necessary for Meaningful Reform.
  • Help in going into areas where there's no oversight & setting up new agencies. I'm willin to travel within my state and open people's eyes as well sa help start an agency. Show members how to set up new agencies and write legislation for statewide oversight.
  • I am just happy that this organization exist.
  • I appreciate the support that I have received from NACOLE over the past years as I feel my authorityt has been under constant challenge. Most recently, NACOLE provided a letter of support to my city regarding a potential union contract which would have severely impacted our office. I think that while that kind of support is available, it is cumbersome to get to. I know some board members because of my participation on a committee. Without that, I would have sent an email and made a phone call to see what help might be available. I think a button on the website for NACOLE Support Request which sends an organizational email to NACOLE would be very helpful and at least allow for a simpler way to contact NACOLE. Thank you again for the support that you have provided us.
  • I do not want to sound critical but I have yet to realize the benefit of being a member of NACOLE. The webinars were not informative for an experienced auditor/investigator. I would suggest you state the level of target audience when marketing the webinars.
  • I suggest NACOLE do more focus on police unions and their impact on oversight committees as well as community administration.
  • I think it is very important that NACOLE continues to balance the voices of various stakeholders: oversight practitioners (staff and board), community members, law enforcement leaders and officers, elected officials, government officials (mayors, city councilors, etc.) as well as being including of academics, media, and civil rights activists.
  • I think that Jail and Prison Oversight is a growth area for NACOLE. I look forward to continuing to integrating this type of oversight into the profile that NACOLE presents to the outside world. We have been doing that work internally, but it is not yet wholly visible externally. I do think that we know what has to happen to make that a reality. I'm not sure there is yet a full committment to that among board members.
  • More visibility for NACOLE! Educate on the importance of Oversight. The wind is at our backs right now. Oversight should take off!
  • NACOLE is a solid organization that is currently underfunded and limited in its impact on a national basis. It could be so much more, but the key seems to be funding. Our few staff are amazing individuals who are amazingly productive and dedicated, but they need to be multiplied. The board members are knowledgeable and hardworking volunteers who deserve alot of respect for their effort and time. But it seems that we operate right below the point where we could have an effective national voice and impact. I think many see we can build towards that and I think this will happen over time. I am impatient for this to happen, but committed to helping NACOLE grow.
  • NACOLE is an amazing organization and our staff is incredible! There needs to be increased publicity for NACOLE activities and expertise across the country and I have no idea how to make that happen.
  • NACOLE is important.
    NACOLE needs a "Speakers Bureau" INCLUDING ME that includes civilians that have had interactions with law enforcement to spread its mission statement across the country.
  • NACOLE needs to press for national pressure on politicians and law enforcement to be transparent in their practices. NACOLE is an unknown to many in this country that could benefit from getting involved. I have talked to several police chiefs who have never heard of NACOLE and that is not right. NACOLE has a perfect opportunity given the current deadly use of force on civilians to be recognized as the "go-to" organization for civilians looking to get involved in local issues in their communities including use of deadly force, training, wrongful conviction, disparates sentencing, the hidden power of DA's and prosecutors, etc. The public is ignorant of many of these issues and NACOLE should be leading from the front I educating the public and changing the warrior paradigm in law enforcement.
  • NACOLE should be more visible in the protests and demonstrations for change in police and public contact. Its voice should be made LOUDER.
  • NACOLE should use LinkedIn as a communication tool; most active oversight/accountability professionals, activists, and academics are on LinkedIn.
  • There should be increased emphasis on training and other services for volunteer oversight board members. Most of the activities, including conference workshops, are designed for oversight professionals.
  • This next year will be critical for communities to work with NACOLE to learn the different models of civilian oversight and determine what changes suit them. Many states have Human Rights Commissions that could benefit from NACOLE training and networking. In addition, many state AG offices have civil rights divisions that are not aware of NACOLE and what it offers.
  • When I attend a NACOLE confernce I feel like I am with equals who truly care and understand the challenges and importance of the work I do. This is validating and invigorating.
  • Would like to know about state legislative actions that could create change, require more yearly training on de-escalation.