Office of the Independent Police Monitor

Civilian Police Accountability Fellowships (CPAF) Program


The Office of the Independent Police Monitor (OIPM) is an independent, civilian police oversight agency created by the voters in a 2008 charter referendum and which opened its doors for the first time in August of 2009.  Its mission is to improve police service to the community, civilian trust in the NOPD, and officer safety and working conditions. The Police Monitor has six broad responsibilities:

1) To ensure that all complaints regarding police misconduct are classified and investigated or mediated at the appropriate level and that those investigations are fairly, timely and thoroughly handled; to ensure that discipline is fair, timely, appropriate and upheld upon appellate scrutiny. To make information about this review process available to the public.

2)To monitor NOPD investigations into use of force to identify violations of civil rights, concerns of officer tactics and safety, risks to life, liberty and property, and adherence to law and policy.

3) To review and analyze aggregate data from complaints, investigations, community concerns and public policy in crafting recommendations aimed toward improving the quality of services by the NOPD.

4) To reach out to inform the community about the OIPM, to listen and respond to broader community concerns, and prepare the community for engagement in NOPD policy and practice.

5) To mend police/community relationships by fostering effective police/community partnership.

6) To collect police commendations, review and monitor police training and supervision issues and support a healthy and safe working environment for NOPD employees.

The New Orleans Office of the Independent Police Monitor’s Civilian Police Accountability Fellowships (CPAF) funds outstanding and creative individuals or non-profit organizations to undertake a short-term project that will advance reform, create and analyze meaningful data in a new way, protect civil rights, support more effective policing, build bridges between the community and NOPD, help manage risk, and/or ensure greater accountability of law enforcement that is responsive to community needs.

Two-three fellows are selected annually to receive funding of $4,000-$6,000 for projects lasting 6-12 weeks.


Fellowships fund graduate or professional students, recent graduates, or professionals with unique perspectives to undertake full -time projects related to police oversight and accountability. Sample projects may intersect with professional areas of practices in law, public policy, education, auditing, public health, housing, art, data analysis, cultural rights, mental health, design, criminal justice, or social work.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. 1.     All projects must relate to enhancing civilian oversight and accountability of the New Orleans Police Department.
  2. 2.     All projects must, at a minimum, relate to one or more of the goals below:
  • Advance policing reform
  • Create and analyze meaningful data in a new way
  • Protect civil rights
  • Support more effective policing
  • Build bridges between the community and NOPD
  • Help manage risk, and/or
  • Ensure greater accountability of law enforcement that is responsive to community needs.
  1. 3.     All projects must have at least one tangible outcome such as a public report on a specific issue in policing, video, public education curriculum, policy-driven research report, or website to be published by the Office of the Independent Police Monitor.
  2. 4.     All projects must demonstrate a clear understanding of addressing an issue or topic that has not been done before in the city of New Orleans.
  3. 5.     Projects with a focus on a specific issue (such as racial profiling, use of force) or on particular needs of a specific community (low income communities, communities of color, refugees, immigrants, LGBTQ people, women, children, or others) are encouraged.
  4. 6.     Applications from individuals directly affected by or with person experiences related to the issue they are working on are especially welcomed.

Selection Criteria

Applicants are selected for fellowships based on strong evidence that the applicant can accomplish the objectives set forth in their application proposal, the extent to which it advances the mission of the Office of the Independent Police Monitor, the impact that the project and final product will have on the New Orleans community and NOPD, and the level of commitment to New Orleans’ work to transform its police department and/or criminal justice system

Applications will be evaluated on the extent to which the applicant possesses the vision, determination, and skills required to accomplish the project that advances the mission of the Office of the Independent Police Monitor. After an initial review of all applicants, a selection committee composed of OIPM staff and other criminal justice reform workers will review proposals and select several fellows to be interviewed for fellowships.  From the finalist’s interviews, two-three fellows will be selected and offered a fellowship award.  Occasionally, depending on the circumstances, OIPM staff may contact specific applicants by email or phone to obtain answers to questions to help in the selection process.

In evaluating applications, the OIPM will consider project need, goals, and objectives (Is this project relevant to advancing the mission of the OIPM, Is this a project needed at this particular time in New Orleans?  Has this been done before? Does it constitute a create or new approach to an issue?  Is the project detailed and attainable within the time frame? Are the project’s objectives impactful?  How can the community or NOPD use the information, report, or product created by the project?).

The OIPM will also consider the applicant’s desire, skills, capacity, initiative, experience, and future goals.

After reading all of the program guidelines, applicants who are uncertain whether some aspect of their proposed project fits within the parameters of the Civilian Police Accountability Fellowships (CPAF) Program may email to submit a brief (no more than 750 words) inquiry or questions before proceeding with a full application.

Fellowship Award

Two or three fellows are selected annually to receive funding of $4,000-$6,000 for projects lasting 6-12 weeks. The proposal must include a timeline and the amount of the stipend will be awarded at the discretion of the Office of the Independent Police Monitor. The award will require a written contract/agreement which takes approximately one month to complete the process before work may commence. Non-profit organizations or individuals may apply. If a non-profit organization is selected as a recipient, one person within the organization must be identified as a point person for the project.

Time Commitment

Fellowships are for full-time work (35 hours per week) for six to twelve weeks. Applicants must be able to devote at least 35 hours per week to the project if awarded a fellowship and the project must be the applicant’s only full-time work during the course of the fellowship. Fellows cannot be full-time students during their fellowships. In addition, if awarded a fellowship, applicants must be available to meet regularly with the fellowship program director every other week.

Host Organizations

Host organizations directly or applicants associated with a host organization may apply for a fellowship. The fellowship funds may be paid through the host organization to a fellow of their choice or to a fellow applying individually. Although it is not required, it is advisable for a fellow to work with a local organization on the issue they are working on to assist with community outreach and education. In a proposal, an applicant may list the host organization with which they would like to partner. Host organizations may be a community group, advocacy group, research institution, or non-profit organization. Fellows may work out of the office of the host organization and the host organization may provide access to resources, space, technology, mentors, and networks. The fellowship does not provide the host organization with additional funds.


All applications must list at least one adviser for the project who is not the fellow.  An adviser is a person who can lend guidance, support, and expertise to the project. The adviser must be a person that the fellow can rely on in tangible ways during the duration of the fellowship period.


Application deadline for this year is June 17, 2016. Incomplete applications will not be given full consideration. Applications must include the following:

  1. 1.     Resume or organization profile of no more than 3 pages.
  2. 2.     Proposal of no more than 1,000 words with the following headings and content areas:
    1. a.     Project Overview: a clear and detailed explanation of the project and how it helps advance the mission of the OIPM. Where appropriate, use statistics, stories, personal experiences, the people or community affected by the issue, and what you propose to do.
    2. b.     Need and Strategic Importance: Why is this project needed at this particular time, how will it address an unmet need, and/or why is this project of importance to the New Orleans community?
    3. c.      Goals, Objectives, and activities to accomplish the goals: List the long-term and short-term goals of the project, the objective to accomplish it, and what activities will be done to obtain the objectives. What will be the final product outcome? A goal is the change you want to see happen (this may or may not be accomplishable with a short-term fellowship project but it’s an aspiration). An objective is a more concrete and defined plan of action to contribute to the achievement. The activities are the specific steps you will take to achieve each objective.
    4. d.     Adviser and Host Organization (if applicable): Share the biography or credentials of your selected adviser for the project and share who the host organization will be if applicable.
    5. e.      Timeline, Commitment, and Needed Resources? What is your preferred start and end date? Will you be able to commit to 35 hours of work per week? What other commitments do you have during the stated time period of the proposed fellowship? What other resources will you need access to (computer, internet, printer, certain information, community contacts)?
    6. 3.     One letter of a professional recommendation from someone who has supervised your past work or is a colleague. Letters shall be submitted with the fellowship application and proposal. Recommenders may be contacted as references for applicants.

Selection Timeline

Application deadline: June 17, 2016

Finalists notified: June 24, 2016

Finalists interviews: End of June and beginning of July

Selected fellows notified and Cooperative Endeavor Agreement process commences: before July 15, 2016


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