Who is Maris Herold? Boulder police chief fights back tears at emotional press meet on King Soopers shooting
'I have to tell you [of] the heroic action of this officer when he responded at the scene,' Herold said, highlighting officer Eric Talley's brave actions
BOULDER, COLORADO: After 10 people were killed in the King Soopers shooting in Boulder, Colorado, including a police officer on Monday, March 22, afternoon, the city's police chief Maris Herold addressed the press and appeared emotional as she talked about the details of the horrible incident.
“I want to say our hearts of this community go out to the victims of this horrific incident,” said Herold, fighting back tears. She identified the officer who died as Eric Talley adding that he was first to arrive at the scene and called his actions “heroic.”
"I have to tell you [of] the heroic action of this officer when he responded at the scene," Herold said, explaining that the Boulder Police Department got a call about shots fired early in the afternoon by a person with a "patrol rifle". "Officer Talley responded to the scene – he was the first on the scene – and he was fatally shot."
“Obviously this is a very complex investigation that will take no less than five days to complete,” said Herold. After heaving a deep sigh she continued, saying, "And again, my heart goes out to victims of this incident and I am grateful for all the police officers who have responded and I am so sorry about the loss of Officer Talley. We will be here working night and day. We have one suspect in custody. I want to reassure the community that they are safe."
10 fatalities, including a police officer, in a mass shooting Boulder, Colorado pic.twitter.com/3LyYdaWRRy— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 23, 2021
Who is Maris Herold?
Herold was named Boulder's police chief last year and she took control of the department in April. She was lauded by Cincinnati police Lt Steve Saunders for willing to take charge of the reins during a pandemic. As the police chief, she faced student unrest over the summer and presently is dealing with the loss of an officer.
She graduated from Dixie Heights High School in Edgewood, Kentucky, and later got her master's degree from Xavier University. Prior to becoming the head of the Boulder Police Department, she was the police chief for the University of Cincinnati after the fatal police shooting of Sam DuBose by former UCPD officer Ray Tensing and the abrupt resignation of her predecessor following an investigation into his interactions with a female witness.
She joined the Cincinnati Police Department in 1993 and had earned the rank of captain by the time she left. She served on the Cincinnati police force for nearly 25 years during which she worked on the team that guided the department through the Collaborative Agreement, the contract between the community and its police following the civil unrest in 2001.
Saunders called her an "innovator" and said the city's award-winning PIVOT program, which uses data-driven metrics to pinpoint crime hotspots, sometimes down to a single apartment within a building, was her "brainchild". Herold is also credited with increasing morale and instituting progressive reforms while serving as chief at the University of Cincinnati.
Cincinnati police posted a tweet on Monday, March 22, evening expressing their sympathies to the Boulder police and the city.
Herold's emotional press conference was praised on social media and received a stream of reactions. "So much empathy for Chief Maris Herold, her department and the loved ones of all who were killed today. May they all RIP," said a user. Another said, "My heart goes out to the Chief Maris Herold as no training can truly prepare you to deal with the tragic #LODD of any employee. Prayers."
A user noted, "Heartbreaking to hear Chief Maris Herold announce this news through tears. Thinking of the Talley family and Boulder Police tonight," while another said, "Chief Maris Herold of Boulder PD is so teary eyed. She is literally fighting to hold back tears."
Heartbreaking to hear Chief Maris Herold announce this news through tears. Thinking of the Talley family and Boulder Police tonight ❤️— Evan Kruegel (@EvanKruegel) March 23, 2021
Chief Maris Herold of Boulder PD is so teary eyed. She is literally fighting to hold back tears.— Darius Johnson (@DariusJohnsonTV) March 23, 2021