Radford University recognizes Colorado Chief with Excellence in Policing Award

Radford University’s Center for Police Practice, Policy and Research presented its 2023 Excellence in Policing Award to City of Boulder (Colorado) Police Chief Maris Herold during a ceremony at the 31st annual Problem-Oriented Policing Conference in Boulder in early August.

Roberto and Rachel Santos, who are co-directors of the center and faculty members in Radford University’s Department of Criminal Justice, present the award each year to a current police executive. Recipients are noted leaders in their agencies and the law enforcement profession, championing innovative strategies that bring about change and improve policing.

“To be given the award by these two fine people means so much to me professionally and personally,” Herold said. “They have done a ton of work in police reform with their stratified policing model, which we have implemented. It allows us to effectively problem-solve on various levels throughout the department. I have a lot of respect and admiration for the Santoses, and to be given the award is really special to me.”


City of Boulder (Colorado) Police Chief Maris Herold (left) accepts the 2023 Excellence in Policing Award from Rachel Santos, professor and co-director of Radford University’s Center for Police Practice, Policy and Research.

In Boulder, Herold has implemented a holistic governance model consisting of multi-disciplinary members and organizations, to assist high utilizers of crisis and public services. Her work has led to innovations in data collection, service coordination and harm reduction.

In addition, Herold has increased transparency and analysis capacity by implementing stratified policing and developing Police Data Portals to promote accountability and data-driven strategies.

She has developed a strategic Reimagine Policing Plan, with input from diverse and underrepresented populations, focusing on evidence-based practices, problem-solving, officer wellness, recruiting, accountability, transparency and holistic governance. 

Herold is a member of the Curve Police Executive Group, a team of police executives working on police reform and leadership development, facilitated by inspirational speaker and entrepreneur Simon Sinek.

“What’s so impressive about Chief Herold is not only has she done great things for Boulder PD and the community it serves,” Roberto Santos said, “but it is clear that her innovative approaches and leadership in the profession will have a lasting impact on policing.”

The center began presenting the award when it opened in 2019. Col. Nathaniel McQueen of the Delaware State Police (now Cabinet Secretary of the State of Delaware’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security) was the first recipient. Subsequent winners have been Chief Scott C. Booth of the Danville (Virginia) Police Department and Sheriff Michael Adkinson Jr. of Walton County, Florida.

The Center of Police Practice, Policy and Research combines evidence-based and practice-based research to create knowledge from original research and translate research to practice through publications, presentations, training and technical assistance.

The center is a place for networking and collaboration among Radford University faculty, other police researchers and experts, police officers and administrators. The Santoses partner with local and county police departments, state police and sheriff’s offices around the United States to implement stratified policing into each agency’s daily operations and institutionalize proactive crime reduction and community engagement. They also partner with agencies to carry out large grant-funded projects that seek to translate research on “what works” to police policy and practice.

In addition, the center is a means for mentoring undergraduate and graduate students for careers in policing, crime analysis and research. Radford University criminal justice majors are involved in research opportunities within the center related to police/community engagement, cybercrime, crime prevention through environmental design, critical incident management, crime and intelligence analysis and evidence-based crime reduction strategies.

Sep 6, 2023
Chad Osborne
(540) 831-7761