Overview of NACOLE’s most urgent programmatic priorities to help reform law enforcement

The field of oversight of law enforcement has grown significantly in the last few years. With it, the needs of practitioners and communities looking to establish civilian oversight have also grown; the current national outcry for police reform has accelerated that growth rapidly. NACOLE is working hard to meet the demand but money is often a limiting factor. With your help, we could increase our capacity for outreach, advocacy, and education. We want to strengthen and expand oversight throughout the country, and give those tasked with doing this challenging and essential work the support and professional development they need to be strong, effective community-change agents. Your donation will directly support NACOLE’s top 3 priorities:

1. Advocacy for civilian oversight as a means of transformational police reform and rebuilding community trust. Currently over 160 municipalities have some form of oversight established through enabling legislation. In the weeks since the killing of George Floyd, NACOLE has been contacted by over 80 cities and individuals who are initiating efforts to bring oversight to their communities and are seeking information and support, with more calls being fielded every day. Many more communities would undoubtedly embrace oversight as an effective tool for police reform if they were more informed of its processes and benefits. NACOLE’s national influence and recognition as subject matter experts, has led to invitations to testify before Presidential Commissions and Federal Interagency Working Groups, as well as develop partnerships with civil rights organizations, homeless rights advocates, criminal justice reform groups, and grassroots police accountability movements. Your donation will magnify our voice and help us promote strong oversight at local and national levels, through an aggressive online, and targeted outreach campaign directed towards communities, elected officials, and advocacy organizations.

2. Training of oversight professionals to set them up for success and ensure excellence in the field. In order to be effective, oversight practitioners need to be well-educated on effective civilian oversight practices, police procedures, investigatory practices, working with community and law enforcement stakeholders, negotiating with command staff and union leaders, and many other topics. NACOLE is the only institution offering regular and comprehensive training in these areas, specifically tailored for the unique skillset required of oversight professionals, and offers the only accredited Certified Practitioner of Oversight program for oversight professionals. NACOLE is also working with a broad group of stakeholders (including representatives of both law enforcement and civilian society) to establish standards for oversight agencies, to help ensure excellence in the field and build legitimacy for this work. Your donation will allow us to rapidly and significantly expand our reach, with a goal of assisting with the establishment of 50 new oversight entities, covering a population of at least 10 million people, within 2 years.

3. Defining and defending oversight with state-of-the-field research and data. As an umbrella organization encompassing the wide range of oversight agencies across the country, NACOLE is uniquely positioned to collect and assess information on best practices, emerging concerns, and new trends. This is essential for assessing impact, supporting our members, and helping interested civilians make the case for oversight in their communities. Keeping research up to date as policing methods and technology rapidly evolve is critical for keeping oversight professionals at the forefront of important issues. Your donation allows us to conduct and support this important research, create fact-based resources for practitioners, and build data repositories that illuminate oversight on a macro level.