Message from the President

Irlando_G.jpgGreetings to the oversight community. 
I am excited to introduce myself to those of you that I have not yet had the opportunity to meet and to tell the rest of you how much I have missed seeing you in person. It has been a long two years since we were able to be in the same space, but lots of work has been done since we met in Detroit (2019), and Austin (early 2020). The Board of Directors and NACOLE staff have been incredibly busy supporting the development of new oversight, enhancing the authority and reach of many existing organizations, continuing to prioritize research, and working to increase the capacity of NACOLE.
NACOLE’s most recent work includes publishing of our groundbreaking report on civilian oversight and effective practices:; hiring of Amanda Bustos as our new Director of Operations to help with the incredible work load being placed on the staff since May of 2020; planning three conferences in less than two years, including the 2020 and 2021 Virtual conferences and the upcoming 27th Annual Conference which will be held in-person this December in Tucson, Arizona; investing in a fundraising plan to diversify our income sources for greater organizational stability and the goal of hiring an Executive Director by 2023 in mind; and receiving a grant to continue our research on civilian oversight and barriers to effectiveness over the next couple of years.

These are only highlights and do not reflect the hundreds of calls and thousands of emails, the technical assistance work with dozens of jurisdictions, the shepherding for 52 annual conference sessions this year alone, or the daily response to membership needs, press, community partners and elected officials.
None of this would be possible without our extraordinary staff and Board. I hope you all know or will soon get to meet our staff: Camme, Amanda, and Karen. Staff and each of the elected, volunteer board members do this work because we feel it deep in our hearts. However, as we venture into a new year and a new era for oversight, I want to make sure that you are part of the planning for what comes next for NACOLE.  It is important that these next steps involve the oversight community as a whole.  

Our membership has grown exponentially and our need for additional staff and resources is no longer on the "want" list. We will need all of you to help us as we plan for growth, increased influence and reach.  We are working on a few ideas for how this can be approached and welcome your feedback.  One thing for sure is that NACOLE is the only national organization that can provide the knowledge and understanding of what effective law enforcement accountability and practice looks like. We are the experts and we are the guardians for communities, law enforcement agencies, jails, and prisons looking to improve trust, accountability, and public safety as a whole.
To this end I have a few asks:   

  1. Please consider joining a committee. Most committees meet once a month and are the operational backbone of the organization.  (
  2. Make a point of signing up for the NACOLE Listserve where you can post media coverage about law enforcement issues and oversight. (
  3. Plan to attend the December conference in Tucson or seek the budget needed for next year's conference now.  We need you to propose, present and, most importantly, attend our educational and networking events and keep the work fresh and relevant.  (

Thank you and bless you!
Gia Irlando
NACOLE President