Richard P. Twiss

Inducted June 2017

Nominated by Cody Telep (Arizona State University) and James Coldren (CNA)


Richard P. Twiss is the former Chief of Police for the Indio, CA Police Department (retired August, 2016) and currently serves as a Subject Matter Expert for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) and the Office of Justice Programs Diagnostic Center. He has over 32 years combined law enforcement and military experience, which began as a police officer with the Indio Police Department. He also served with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Investigation the California Department of Justice, Firearms Division, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Under Chief Twiss’ leadership the Indio Police Department was selected as one of fifteen agencies nationwide to participate in the President’s Advancing 21st Century Policing Project a one-year study of agencies implementing the Task Force recommendations. Chief Twiss participated in the President’s National Committee on 21st Century Policing and served as a member of the California Attorney General’s Community Oriented Policing Subcommittee. He was also appointed to the California Police Chiefs Association Homelessness and Mental Health working group. He holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science from Chapman University.

Evidence-Based Research and Practice:

Chief Twiss is a strong advocate for evidence-based policing, and Telep and Coldren highlighted a number efforts that reflect his overall commitment to integrating research into practice in policing. First, in partnership with Dr. Robert Nash Parker of the University of California-Riverside, Chief Twiss implemented an innovative approach to predictive policing under a BJA Smart Policing Initiative. Dr. Parker and IPD developed a geo-spatial statistical prediction model for home burglary, based on school truancy (and several other variables) as a leading indicator. His support for Dr. Parker’s work over several years, including providing and facilitating access to data, allowed for the development, testing, and outcome evaluations of the predictive model. The success of the predictive modeling led the police department to initiate an extensive community-oriented policing strategy that involved the schools, parents, youth, the business community, and many other stakeholders in the Indio community. The success of this community policing approach led Chief Twiss to institute a radical reorganization of his department around community policing and community engagement, with evidence-based policing at the core.

More recently Chief Twiss has developed an evidence-based, problem-solving approach to addressing the chronic disorder and homelessness in Indio. The Community Outreach Resource Program (CORP) is both place-based and client-oriented. The place-based component utilizes two quality of life officers focused on disorder in high crime areas with an emphasis on situational prevention and service provision rather than arrest. The client-based component is a multi-agency approach to help homeless individuals obtain jobs and housing and avoid criminal justice contact through a combination of service provision with multiple providers and the removal of fines and fees owed to the courts (similar to a homelessness court). Quality of life officers help identify eligible clients, who then complete an individualized treatment program. Chief Twiss then partnered with Dr. Cody Telep of Arizona State University to evaluate this program, which includes quasi-experimental examinations of crime in locations targeted by quality of life officers relative to comparison areas, as well as recidivism and other-individual level outcomes for CORP clients. For these efforts Chief Twiss received the Tim Fitzharris Award from the Chief Probation Officers of California in 2015. His efforts were also recognized by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services in May 2016, as the IPD was selected as one of 15 departments nationally to promote the implementation of the recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Chief Twiss has been an organizational champion and ambassador of evidence-based policing in law enforcement. He spearheaded numerous regional and statewide evidence-based policing events, such as the SPI Researcher-Practitioner Symposium in 2014 and the first-ever SPI Workshop at the 2015 California Police Chief Association Symposium, attended by more than 300 California chiefs. He was also an invited keynote speaker at the 2016 SPI Collaboration Workshop in Portland, OR and an invited speaker at the 2016 Center for Problem-Oriented Policing conference in Tempe, AZ. His commitment to this policing model and his consistent message of evidence-based policing to his officers transformed not only the organizational culture at IPD but also everyday police operations.

Statement from Inductee:

I’m honored to share this wonderful acknowledgment with my colleagues from the Indio Police Department, the public, private and faith based community partners who believed in and supported what we were striving to accomplish in our community of Indio. The value of evidence-based, data-driven policing to the Indio Police Department and our community cannot be understated. It drove organizational change, enhanced cross-sector community relationships and the successful development and implementation of crime reduction tactics and strategies. Devotion to the sustainability of these relationships, outreach and prevention strategies will produce dividends in community-police trust and crime reduction trends for years to come.

Contributions to Grants, Publications, and Projects: