[PARC] literally wrote the book on [the] field — ‘National Guidelines for Police Monitors.’
— Seattle Police Monitor Named, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Oct. 2012)

In cases where police engage in a “pattern or practice” of violating citizens’ constitutional rights, monitors are often responsible for reporting on a jurisdiction’s compliance with a consent decree or memorandum of understanding – agreements requiring specific reforms within a set period of time within a law enforcement agency.  

The authority for the federal government to bring such lawsuits dates only to 1994, with most state attorneys general only bringing these lawsuits even more recently.  Early monitors charged with overseeing consent decrees and settlements in the area developed unique expertise in what does and does not work in overseeing reforms in a police department.  The Bureau of Justice Assistance ("BJA") of the United States Department of Justice provided PARC a grant to develop unified, national guidelines for police monitors.

Scope of Work

PARC was charged to work with bringing together the civilian oversight community, monitors, and the law enforcement community in a consensus on basic guidelines for civilian oversight by monitors and others.


Assembling an Unrivaled Team of Experts. PARC brought together the very best in the civilian oversight, monitoring, and law enforcement communities – collaborating in an ongoing, dynamic, and spirited context.

Comprehensive Treatment of Emerging Issues Based on Real-World Experience.  The guidelines cover the full panoply of ethical, practical, and technical aspects of oversight based on the real-world experiences of law enforcement and police oversight professionals.


Leading the Field. PARC unveiled the consensus national guidelines to a professional organization of police accountability experts at the annual conference of the National Association for the Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) on November 1, 2009 in Austin, Texas. The culmination of several years of work, the guidelines provide guidance on police oversight.  They are applicable to civilian review boards, auditors, police commissions, and law enforcement agencies subject to civilian oversight, with particular emphasis on monitoring.



Assemble an unrivaled team of experts and construct a first-of-their-kind set of guidelines for police monitors and professional police oversight professionals.


Police Oversight
Data-Driven Management
Internal Investigations
Administrative Reviews


National Guidelines for Police Monitors (2009)