The Littleton Police Officers Association has weighed in on the search for a new chief, throwing their support behind Denver Police Capt. Douglas Stephens.
Officer Steve Keliiholokai, president of LPOA, participated in interviewing all five finalists. He said all of them went well, but Stephens stood out above the rest.
“All of the candidates were invited to the membership meeting, but the only one that showed was Capt. Stephens,” said Keliiholokai. “The members voted to give him the LPOA’s support. So now it’s a waiting game for the city manager to make a decision.”
The final decision goes to City Manager Michael Penny, who is not yet commenting.
“I’m not ready to name any particular person,” he said. “We did have 43 people participate in the interview process, and we had five quality candidates. I hope to have public information soon.”
Stephens was a commander in Denver until Chief Robert White’s shake-up of the department upon his arrival in December 2011. An anonymous letter published by the Denver Post in January 2012 indicated there was some conflict between the two. White subsequently made all the commanders re-apply, and ultimately replaced Stephens and two others. Stephens was returned to the rank of captain.
Penny named Stephens a finalist on March 22, along with 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, and Chief Robert L. Ticer of the Avon Police Department.
Cmdr. Gene Enley is serving as acting chief until Penny names a permanent replacement for former Chief Heather Coogan. Cmdrs. Kim Ferber and Paul Creadon are acting division chiefs, since Bob Brandt and Bill Christensen also retired. Penny said he’ll leave the decision about permanently replacing Brandt and Christensen up to the new chief.
Coogan announced her retirement Jan. 18 after serving in the position more than five years.
Coogan’s last day was officially April 1, but she’s already opened an office in Littleton for her new consulting company, True to Course LLC. She’s specializing in management, investigations and human relations, according to her business card. Her LinkedIn profile says she’s “advising on management and organizational cultural issues that impact productivity and employees.”