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Littleton’s police chief, first female chief in metro area, retiring

Littleton police chief Heather Coogan

Littleton Police Chief Heather Coogan (Photo: Littleton Police Department).

Littleton Police Chief Heather Coogan (Photo: Littleton Police Department).

LITTLETON, Colo. – Littleton’s police chief, and the first female to hold the position in the Denver metro area, is retiring, a spokeswoman said Friday.

Heather Coogan has served as Littleton’s chief of police for seven years.

“I am excited and a little sad to announce that I am retiring but I could not have asked for a better department to live out my dream,” Coogan said in a news release. “We have accomplished so much together and there is so much to be proud of. It is time for me, after 37 years as an officer and 11 years as a chief of police, to pass the torch to people I believe in and who possess great leadership skills.”

During her tenure, Coogan oversaw the opening of a 14,000 square-foot expansion of the Littleton Police Department, which included a modern crime lab.

She also served as president of the Metro Chiefs, the Arapahoe Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee and the Police Officer Standards Training Board.

She earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from Rocky Mountain Women in Law Enforcement in 2011.

Starting April 2, Cmdr. Gene Enley will serve as acting chief of police until a new permanent chief is found.

Coogan worked as a beat officer for Denver’s police department. According to the Denver Post, she started out as just one of three women in a 150-member district.

She worked patrol for eight years, mostly on the graveyard shift.  Coogan rose up through the chain of command, working as the chief of Denver’s Auraria Campus before becoming the deputy chief in Denver.

Coogan was named Littleton’s police chief in 2007.