Search for new Littleton police chief narrowed to five finalists

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Littleton City Manager Michael Penny has narrowed down 45 applications to five finalists he will consider to replace retiring Chief Heather Coogan.

The candidates he announced March 22 are Cmdr. Frances L. Gomez of the Aurora Police Department; Cmdr. Rob McGregor of the Aurora Police Department; former Chief Richard W. Myers of the Colorado Springs Police Department; Capt. Douglas Stephens of the Denver Police Department; and Chief Robert L. Ticer of the Avon Police Department.

“I am excited about the candidates and look forward to meeting them in person,” said Penny. “I am looking for a chief who will take what is working well and build on that - someone who will critically evaluate where we have opportunities for improvement.”

Coogan announced her retirement Jan. 18. That was just months after a survey of city employees showed the police department was less satisfied with its direct supervision and senior leadership than other departments. At the time, Penny said the results revealed opportunities to work toward positive change.

Coogan’s last day is officially April 1, and division chiefs Bob Brandt and Bill Christensen are exiting with her. They’re taking advantage of a new incentive offered to all LPD sworn officers ages 57 and older. In exchange for retiring now, their health insurance will be paid until they’re 65.

Cmdr. Gene Enley will serve as acting chief, and Cmdrs. Kim Ferber and Paul Creadon will be acting division chiefs. Penny said he’ll leave the decision about permanently replacing Brandt and Christensen up to the new chief, whom he hopes to have in place by May.

Starting in mid-April, Penny will get input from interview panels, including citizens, chiefs in other jurisdictions, Littleton police and other department heads. More than 40 people will be involved in the interviews, but the final decision will be his.

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