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Maris Herold promoted to UC police chief

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By M.B. Reilly

University of Cincinnati

Maris Herold. Photo by Joe Fuqua

The University of Cincinnati has promoted Maris Herold as its new police chief.

Herold, who is nationally recognized for her expertise in problem-solving and police-community relations, has served as the University of Cincinnati Police Department’s assistant chief since June 2016, and previously as captain with the Cincinnati Police Department. She will be the first woman to serve as the university’s police chief. She had served as interim chief since November 2017.

Herold becomes chief of UCPD after an extensive overhaul of the department following the fatal shooting during a routine traffic stop of Samuel DuBose, an unarmed Black motorist, by UCPD officer Ray Tensing in 2015. Tensing, who is no longer employed by UCPD, was charged with murder, but two trials of his case ended in hung juries.

Chief Herold first came to UC by means of a national search in 2016 to serve as the police department’s assistant chief. Her promotion comes with the unanimous approval and support from the UC Office of Safety and Reform’s Community Advisory Council, which is chaired by the Honorable John West, retired judge for the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. Herold also received strong support from UCPD’s internationally recognized external monitoring team, Exiger, along with many UC students, faculty and staff, including UCPD officers.

Robin Engel, UC’s vice president for safety and reform, said “Maris Herold’s collaborative leadership style emphasizes the implementation of problem solving and evidence-based policing strategies with empathy and compassion to those she serves and those she leads. I am confident that her strong leadership, coupled with her integrity, intellect and innovative approach, will further accelerate the significant progress we have made in our police reform efforts.”

Engel said Herold will continue to build on the strong relationships she’s already established with university students, faculty, staff and the local community, as well as UCPD’s officers and staff.

Herold said she plans to draw from my experience in both campus and municipal policing to develop and promote innovative policing strategies, while continuing to enhance UCPD’s significant progress.

“The safety of our students, faculty, staff, visitors, and surrounding residents continues to be a primary goal that will be strengthened through enhanced community outreach and partnerships,’’ she said. “I am impressed with the dedication and commitment to continuous improvement demonstrated by our UCPD officers, and I will continue to provide state-of-the-art training and enhanced career opportunities to them. I also plan to work with our community partners to develop a comprehensive recruitment strategy to further diversify our agency.”

Herold’s nearly two years of experience at UCPD is capped by nearly 25 years of previous experience with the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) in a variety of leadership roles, including service as patrol special project captain and District Four commander, a district which borders the University of Cincinnati. Importantly, in her former roles within CPD, Herold worked as part of the team responsible for implementing the department’s historic Collaborative Agreement.

During her tenure at CPD, she developed an evidence-based, citywide violence reduction program. As part of that model, Herold coordinated the collection and analysis of intelligence data, the participation of city departments and resident/business associations to advance strategic safety efforts. She also carried direct responsibility for police operations and supervision serving 10 neighborhoods with over 85,000 residents.

She has presented on these areas of expertise at national and international venues.

Herold reports to her supervisor, Jim Whalen, UC’s director of public safety.

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