CINCINNATI -- The new University of Cincinnati police chief is the first woman to lead the department.
UC promoted Maris Herold to police chief Wednesday, nearly two months after former police chief Anthony Carter resigned. Officials had threatened to fire Carter for violating the university's conduct policy. Herold has been serving as the interim police chief since then. She's making $140,000, compared to her predecessor's $135,000 starting and $137,700 ending salary.
Herold told 9 On Your Side she knows UC police still face challenges identified in an internal review of the department that was conducted after former officer Ray Tensing shot and killed Sam DuBose during a traffic stop in 2015.
"There's 276 recommendations. I agree with every one of them," Herold said. "We've accomplished over 60 percent of those recommendations thus far. We will accomplish the rest of those recommendations."
Herold said her priorities are stability, compassionate leadership and officer development. She also said she wants her officers to have a "good time" doing "good work."
They're striving to be a "model police agency in the country," she said.
One focus for Herold will be on recruiting more women and minorities.
"I think every police agency in the country is battling the same issues with recruiting and diversity issues. We’re no different," Herold said. "But I do think we can do some things better with recruiting, and that’s what we’ll focus on."
Before coming to the UC Police Department as assistant chief in 2016, Herold worked for the Cincinnati Police Department for more than 20 years. She worked her way up from police officer to District 4 commander. She then worked as a special project captain, working on CPD's place-based "PIVOT" crime reduction strategy. Herold holds a bachelor's in sociology from Eckerd College in Florida and a master's in criminal justice from Xavier University.
Herold said she's found UC to be "a very supportive environment."
Robin Engel, the vice president for safety and reform at UC, said Wednesday that university officials were "really thrilled" about Herold stepping in and leading the department.
"It’s not just that Chief Herold is local," Engel said. "It's that she's smart and strong and compassionate and she was the perfect fit for the UCPD in moving us forward."
Herold is the department's third chief in three years, but Engel said she hoped Herold would bring some stability.
"She is evidenced-based. She is data-driven. She is a compassionate leader," Engel said. "And, I want her to use all of those talents, skills, and strengths that she already has and implement them right here in this agency."
What happened to Carter?
UC announced Carter's hiring as police chief the same day they announced Herold as assistant police chief in 2016 as part of their efforts to reform the department following the DuBose shooting.
However, a university-sponsored report later found Carter acted inappropriately during an investigation into a faculty love triangle among a husband, a wife and her boyfriend. Carter sent the wife 171 text messages and called her 11 times in 36 days, according to the report.
MORE: Documents raise questions why UC fired police chief, allowed him to resign, rehired him
Carter's attorney has maintained his innocence.
Letters in Carter's personnel file show he was allowed to resign on Nov. 27. The next day, he accepted a job offer from UC's institute of crime science for the same salary he made at the end of his time as police chief: $137,700. That contract lasts through September 2018 and it could be renewed.
So what exactly is Carter doing in that new role?
"I'm not quite sure about that, but that's something you should ask Anthony Carter directly," Engel said.
Carter's attorney said he's doing crime statistics analysis in his new role. It's work the attorney said Carter had already done a "substantial" amount of before he left the chief job.
Carter is also in the running for a job as the Fairfield police chief, a city spokesperson said. That interview process is currently underway.