Maris Herold

Inducted June 2022

Nominated by Robin Engel and James Whalen, University of Cincinnati


Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold began her professional career as a social worker, serving as a sexual assault investigator and a juvenile psychiatric intake worker, before joining the Cincinnati Police Department in 1993. Throughout her tenure at CPD, Chief Herold developed and implemented several notable initiatives, including mental health response teams, numerous place-based crime reduction efforts, and ethical and constitutional responses to address community needs associated with homelessness and substance abuse issues. In addition, her collaboration with public and private entities led to neighborhood stabilization and affordable housing opportunities in underserved communities. In 2016, she retired from the CPD and joined the University of Cincinnati Police Division (UCPD), first as Assistant Police Chief, followed shortly by a promotion to Police Chief in 2018. She was the first female police executive to hold either position within the UCPD. Chief Herold has received several awards for her community collaboration and large-scale problem-solving projects to reduce crime and improve services for at-risk populations, including the 2016 Cincinnati Collaborative Agreement and Problem-Solving Award, and the 2017 and 2022 Herman Goldstein Awards for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. She holds a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police. She is currently an Executive Fellow at the National Policing Institute. She has served as police chief in Boulder, Colorado since April 2020, leading her community and agency through the 2021 King Soopers mass shooting. Chief Herold is committed to ensuring that the Boulder Police Department is recognized across the country as a model police agency, dedicated to evidence-based innovation and reform.

Evidence-Based Research and Practice:

Chief Herold began her work in implementing evidence-based strategies early in her career. While serving as a CPD Sergeant, she managed the team that transitioned the CPD from a traditional policing model to a Community Problem-Oriented Policing Model. In this role, she established herself as CPD’s subject matter expert in problem-solving and community-police relations and assisted in developing all problem-solving projects and evaluations department-wide. This work led directly to a finding of substantial compliance that ended a six-year federal monitoring period of the CPD. During this time, Chief Herold was also tasked with reformatting CPD’s antiquated crime analysis meetings and assisted in developing the Strategic and Tactical Review for Solutions (STARS) format, which is still in use today for CPD’s weekly command staff crime analysis meetings.

As a district commander in one of the most densely populated and highest crime areas of Cincinnati, then Captain Herold developed and implemented a district-wide place-based policing strategy involving several chronically violent multi-family apartment complexes, culminating in successful litigation and reduced calls for service for violence. While in this role, she partnered with researchers from the University of Cincinnati (UC) to implement a place-based policing strategy to reduce robberies and theft from areas surrounding campus, resulting in double-digit reductions in both crime categories. She was responsible for developing evidence-based, place-, offender-, and owner-based policing investigations of corner markets, residences, and other businesses that resulted in legal compliance agreements requiring the restructuring of management practices. Her efforts directly resulted in double-digit reductions in drug trafficking and violence after implementing place-based policing strategies.

One of Chief Herold’s most significant accomplishments in evidence-based policing is the development, implementation, and evaluation of PIVOT (Place-Based Investigations of Violent Offender Territories). PIVOT is an innovative violence reduction strategy designed for city-wide implementation to focus on micro-hotspot locations to achieve long-term reductions in crime and violence. This approach is grounded in evidence that persistent crime patterns and violent hotspots are visible indicators of underlying crime place networks (i.e., specific locations used to conduct illegal operations/activities). Using the PIVOT model, the police and other city department leaders identify, investigate, and target problematic locations to dismantle the crime place networks and disrupt the offender networks operating in those locations. Pilot tests in Cincinnati have demonstrated significant reductions in violence score metrics sustained for over four years. This project was awarded the 2017 Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing and documented in Police Chief Magazine (see Madensen, Herold, Hammer, & Christenson, 2017). The PIVOT strategy (recently rebranded as PNI – Place Network Investigations) is being adopted in police agencies across the United States and Europe.

While at the University of Cincinnati Police Department (UCPD), Chief Herold also applied her expertise in evidence-based policing to her reform efforts to rebuild many facets of that agency. She implemented a Learning Management System (LMS) and Dashboard Crime Analysis system to better train and educate officers and incorporate evidence-based practices into their daily work. She directed the complete overhaul of the agency’s use of force policy, which now requires de-escalation techniques and incorporates the doctrine of the Critical Decision-Making Model (CDM). Additionally, after noting the lack of evidence regarding the effectiveness of de-escalation training for police, Chief Herold provided access to her agency for UC researchers to evaluate the Police Executive Research Forum’s (PERF) de-escalation training (Integrating Communication, Assessment and Tactics – ICAT) – the first police agency in the country to do so. The UC researchers later replicated this research with the Louisville Metro Police Department, providing the first evidence demonstrating that ICAT training was associated with significant reductions in officer use of force and officer and citizen injuries. Finally, a key feature of Chief Herold’s reform work was the development and implementation of UCPD’s Tactical and Strategic Investigations policy, which fully institutionalizes problem-solving as a primary strategy to reduce crime and disorder on campus-owned properties.

Chief Herold has continued to lead the law enforcement field by implementing her cutting-edge, evidence-based approaches in Boulder. For example, she has overseen a complete overhaul of the BPD use of force policy, implemented the ICAT model in the use of force training, and established a robust complaint investigation procedure. She has also established a full-time training section, developed a disciplinary matrix, and instituted an assessment and strategy to reduce intimate partner violence. Additionally, Chief Herold has pushed for greater transparency, use of data, and the application of crime science in response to crime problems by implementing open datasets of offenses, calls for service, and several other notable police records to the public. She has also contracted the building of an internal portal to make crime, calls for service, staffing, and other data more accessible to every police department member.

In their nomination of Chief Herold, James Whalen (2013 Hall of Fame Inductee) and Professor Robin Engel state that Chief Herold has “demonstrated vast accomplishments in both implementing and advancing evidence-based policing practices. Her efforts have changed the individual agencies and communities in which she has worked and significantly advanced the law enforcement field both nationally and internationally. She is a national thought-leader in the areas of problem-solving, place-based policing strategies, and violence reduction.”

Statement from Inductee:

I began my career as an emergency psychiatric intake worker and social worker, serving diverse urban populations. My frustration with state- and county-run bureaucracies that failed to adequately serve vulnerable populations led me to transition into a profession that I believed was more responsive to community needs: policing. These early experiences ultimately shaped my understanding and vision as a police executive. I am committed to the principles of equity, effectiveness, and ethical policing, driven by evidence-based policing.

I began my policing career with the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) in the early 1990s. At that time, CPD used aggressive and zero-tolerance crime-fighting strategies that had unintended consequences, including undermining police-community trust. After a series of police intervention shootings of unarmed black men, the city experienced a period of civil unrest. This civil unrest would eventually culminate in the signing of the Federal Collaborative Agreement between the City of Cincinnati, the Black United Front, the ACLU, the FOP, and the community. The Collaborative Agreement dramatically changed the way the CPD policed.

Most importantly, the underlying principles of the Collaborative Agreement suggested that different groups within the community -- with different experiences and perspectives -- could work together to achieve common goals and solve problems. The Collaborative required the police to solve community problems using science and evidence. Evidence-based policing was key to CPD’s primary strategy for addressing crime and disorder.

Under the Collaborative Agreement, my role was to identify evidence-based practices and recommend intervention strategies to the CPD executive team. During this time, I was given the unique opportunity to travel across the country and identify best practices to reduce crime. I formed long-standing partnerships with researchers at the University of Cincinnati. I learned that police could increase their effectiveness and improve community relations by implementing evidence-based responses.

During my tenure at CPD, we engaged with academic partners and successfully reduced a wide-range of community harms, including human-trafficking, gun violence, chronic nuisance properties, repeat victimization, burglaries, and other quality-of-life concerns, all while re-building community engagement and trust. This work prepared me to lead the University of Cincinnati Police Department through a series of 276 reform recommendations, and I continue to promote police reform and the adoption of evidence-based practices as Chief of the Boulder Police Department.

Once again, policing is facing a crisis, one that has undermined public confidence and negatively impacted our ability to recruit and retain qualified candidates. As I attempt to navigate these challenges, I know that implementing evidence-based practices is critical to thoughtful and meaningful police reform, but it is the aspect of reform that is most often overlooked. We can continue to make policing more effective, equitable, and ethical if we build academic partnerships and commit ourselves to translating research into practice. I am honored to be selected as an inductee to the EPB Hall of Fame and thank those at George Mason University’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy for their tireless commitment to improving our profession.

Contributions to Grants, Publications, and Projects:

  • Madensen, T.D., Herold, M., Hammer, M.G., and Christenson, B.R. (2017). Place-based investigations to disrupt crime place networks. The Police Chief Magazine, April 2017, 14-15.