Exchange Matters / June 27, 2019

Twenty-First Century Policing: Year 3 of the Police Professionalization Exchange Program

By Jason Terry, Director, Exchange Programs, Global Ties U.S.

Participants practice shooting simulations at the Alamo Area Council of Governments in San Antonio, TX. The session was coordinated by the San Antonio Council for International Visitors, a Community-Based Member.

Participants practice shooting simulations at the Alamo Area Council of Governments in San Antonio, TX. The session was coordinated by the San Antonio Council for International Visitors, a Community-Based Member.

Halfway through its third year, the Police Professionalization Exchange Program (PPEP) for Mexican law enforcement agents demonstrates its impact in enhancing specialized knowledge and professional expertise of officers from almost every Mexican state.

Through study tours in the United States, training in Mexico, and a robust online education curriculum, PPEP has served over 1,800 participants in 2,400 engagements to date. Nearly 600 people have participated in multiple elements of the program – for example, attending multiple study tours, or taking part in the online course and later attending a training institute in Mexico.

These participants have met with 200+ organizations across 35 U.S. cities. About two-thirds of those organizations are law enforcement agencies at the local, county, state, or federal level. The remaining groups include community organizations, courts, prosecutors, and academic experts.


We measure impact in collaboration with our colleagues at the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy, and have seen significant knowledge gains in participants from all program components.

In particular, though our online participants come in with less experience than their colleagues who attend the study tours, their knowledge gains by the end of their eight-week program put them on par with their more experienced peers. Some areas where participants note improved skills include incorporating technology into their work, increasing transparency and accountability to their communities, “managing up” to advocate for institutional change, and developing new contacts in the United States and Mexico.

We are redesigning our online training for relaunch later this summer, to include a new two-week advanced boot camp experience for top performing 2018 participants, as well as refreshed content for new enrollees. We also recently fielded a survey in the United States examining how PPEP has affected U.S. law enforcement agencies; we look forward to examining those results in more detail.

Orlando police department with PPEP exchange participants

Participants on a Community Policing study tour visit the City of Orlando Police Department in April 2018. The visit was coordinated by the World Affairs Council of Central Florida, a Community-Based Member.


We root PPEP activities in the concepts of 21st Century Policing, and emphasize professional ethics through all aspects of the program. Thanks to our Community-Based Members, we have developed a network of subject-matter experts that is unparalleled in this  kind of training program. Our comprehensive approach to program evaluation allows us to constantly improve the PPEP experience for both participants and the professional resources with whom they engage.

To date, our groups have been hosted by 27 different CBMs. We are grateful to all of those who have hosted groups and expressed interest. We have six more exchange groups coming to the U.S. in 2019, providing additional opportunities for members to engage with the program.

To get involved with PPEP or learn more, contact or subscribe to the Weekly Update newsletter for hosting and programming opportunities.