Event UChicago Crime Lab May 24, 2024

Policing Leadership Academy Graduation of Second Cohort

The Crime Lab hosted the graduation of the second cohort of the PLA, the only police management and leadership training program in the country specifically designed to increase safety and fairness in America’s most violent neighborhoods.

The goal of the Policing Leadership Academy is to reduce violence in American cities by providing leadership and management expertise to police commanders. This is not a one-off training program; it is an intensive, world-class education. Participants have been engaged in a 5-month curriculum focused on strategic thinking, data-driven management practices, building organizational and community resilience, and more. It is being rigorously evaluated by our team at the Crime Lab along with researchers from Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania.

The graduation ceremony featured remarks by United States Senator Dick Durbin; Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, Dean, Harris School of Public Policy; Craig Turk, Producer and Writer; Armando Aguilar, Assistant Chief, Miami Police Department; and student speakers Captain Leslie Richardson II, Tampa Police Department and Inspector Michael A. Spochart, United States Capitol Police.

View a gallery of photos from graduation.


The PLA’s second cohort consisted of 35 police leaders from 35 police departments across the country and the world.


Collectively, the first and second cohorts of leaders serve 41 jurisdictions comprising over 28% of homicides in America.


Our research demonstrates changes in police department management can reduce violent crime rates and police use of force by up to a third. That’s why the PLA is so key.

United States Senator Dick Durbin gives remarks. Photos by Beking Media.

PLA Executive Director Meredith Stricker welcomes attendees and introduces guest speakers.

From left to right: Producer and Writer Craig Turk; Crime Lab Faculty Director Jens Ludwig; Former Chicago Police Department Deputy Chief Dan Godsel; and Institute for Nonviolence Chicago CEO Teny Gross.

Latest Updates

IMPD hopes to reduce gun violence after leadership training
Media Mention
Fox 59 Indianapolis
May 2024

IMPD hopes to reduce gun violence after leadership training

Read about the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s participation in the Crime Lab’s second cohort of our Policing Leadership Academy.