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Executive Leadership Team

Chief Acevedo

Art Acevedo

Interim Chief of Police

Art Acevedo was sworn in on December 5, 2022, as the Interim Chief of Police of the Aurora, CO Police Department. He also served as Chief of Police in Austin, TX, Houston, TX and Miami, FL. He began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), in 1986, patrolling the streets of East Los Angeles. Chief Acevedo rose through the ranks of the CHP and was promoted to Chief in 2005. He has served as a peace officer at the state and municipal levels for over 35 years. In 2007, he was appointed as Chief of the Austin Police Department (APD), where Acevedo served the rapidly growing and changing city for nearly 10 years. In 2016, Chief Acevedo was appointed as Chief of the Houston Police Department (HPD), where he served the most diverse city in America for nearly five years. In 2021, he was appointed as Chief of the Miami Police Department.

Chief Acevedo firmly believes that honest, two-way communication is vital for successful, transparent relationships. He worked tirelessly to strengthen the bond between the community and police in every city he served. As a proponent of community policing, Chief Acevedo developed the proven practice of "Relational Policing," which is built on six tenets of leadership and operational philosophy. Relational Policing provides an opportunity and expectation for each team member to forge a positive relationship with each and every person with whom they come into contact. Chief Acevedo also subscribes to law enforcement being a data driven, intelligence led profession that demands leaders, and the teams they lead, be prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.

As the first Hispanic to lead APD and HPD, Chief Acevedo brought a unique understanding to the concerns of the diverse communities he served. His experience as an immigrant led him to join the National Latino Peace Officers Association where he served as National President and mentored youth and, young law enforcement professionals. Acevedo also served in a leadership capacity with the Major Cities Chiefs Association for over 14 years, and for three years served as the organization's President, representing the Nation's 70 largest police departments. Acevedo continues to advocate for law enforcement and criminal justice reform, firearm safety reform, the Violence Against Women Act, comprehensive immigration reform, digital trust, and many other critical criminal justice policy measures. In 2022, Acevedo launched The Acevedo Leadership Advantage Group. This is an exciting opportunity for him to share the lessons he gleamed from his many years of leadership experience, in crisis management, and community building throughout the United States. Born in Cuba, Art is fully bilingual, being just four years old when he immigrated to the United States with his family in 1968.

Art Acevedo grew up in Southern California and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from the University of La Verne in California, where he was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate. He is married and has three children.

Deputy Chief Heather Morris

Heather Morris

 Interim Deputy Chief of Police

Heather Morris will be a member of the Aurora Police Executive Staff as the Interim Deputy Chief of Police. Morris began her 22-year career with the Houston Police Department in 1999 retiring in 2021 as an Assistant Chief. She has worked in Patrol, Field Training, DWI Task Force, Criminal Investigations, and Internal Affairs Investigations. She believes community engagement and transparency are a top priority and will bring those values to Aurora.

Morris graduated from the University of Houston in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. During her law enforcement career in Houston, she went on to earn her Master of Arts in Criminology from the University of Houston. In 2014, Morris earned a promotion to Commander and led the South Central Patrol Division, Robbery Division and the Internal Affairs Division at HPD. In 2020, she was again promoted to Assistant Chief and assigned to the Criminal Investigations Command, where she oversaw a staff similar in size to APD. Morris also spent time as the Deputy Chief of the Miami Police Department. She has a passion for promoting organizational integrity and community policing throughout the department, something Police Chief Art Acevedo believes is vital to this position.

Reagan Pena

Reagan Peña

Chief of Staff

Reagan Peña is the Police Chief of Staff for the Aurora Police Department, providing specialized support and implementing the initiatives and directives of the chief of police. In addition, she oversees the Public Information Office and the Community Relations Section. Reagan was named chief of staff in 2022.

An Arizona native, Reagan earned her bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Arizona. In 2003, she joined the League City Police Department in the greater Houston area and served for 14 years achieving Master Peace Officer certification. Her experience includes public affairs, community engagement, recruiting, public safety hiring, and investigations. While serving as a public information officer in League City, Reagan was elected Region 6 director of the National Information Officers Association and was recognized by the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers for her recruiting and community outreach roles.

In 2017, Reagan began an investigation firm specializing in public safety background hiring process and criminal defense investigations. In 2019, a premier national private security firm recruited her to manage a $68 million public transportation contract. She was responsible for 300+ armed security professionals, client satisfaction, risk management, and contract profits and compliance. Under her leadership, she successfully negotiated contract changes and developed a pilot program of unarmed customer service ambassadors. Reagan was called back to public service as a Public Safety Media Relations Manager with the city of Aurora Communications and Marketing Department. She served on the Chief's Executive leadership team.

Reagan's focus on collaboration has led her to work with various industries and stakeholders - from public sectors such as healthcare and education to non-profit organizations and private businesses - to accomplish common goals.  No matter what role she fills, Reagan's goal is simple: to empower organizations and people to succeed. She believes people and relationships matter and knows fostering a positive, growth-oriented culture is essential to successfully implementing a company's strategy and mission.

Kevin Barnes division chief patrol division

Kevin Barnes

Division Chief - Patrol Division

Kevin Barnes is chief of the Patrol Division, overseeing all patrol and community policing units for Districts 1, 2 and 3, as well as the School Resource Unit. He was named chief of Patrol in 2023.

A Selma, Alabama native, Kevin earned his degree in Criminal Justice from Columbia College of Missouri. He moved to Colorado in 1994, working for about a decade with Colorado's Division of Youth Services. Kevin joined the Aurora Police Department in 2004.

Kevin has spent most of his career in Aurora with the Special Operations Bureau, including six years as a narcotics investigator and more than five years as a street-level supervisor and assistant commanding officer of the SWAT Team. He was instrumental in the creation of the Direct Action Response Team, which specializes in investigating violent crimes and motor vehicle thefts.

Kevin is a graduate of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association's Supervisor Leadership Institute and the Denver University Public Safety Leadership Program.

Chief Hildebrand

Mark Hildebrand

Division Chief - Investigations Division

Mark Hildebrand is chief of the Investigations Division, overseeing the Aurora Police Department's two Major Investigations Sections, General Investigations Section and the Unified Metropolitan Forensic Crime Lab. He was named chief of Investigations in 2021.

Mark joined the Aurora Police Department in 2002 after moving to Colorado from his hometown of Cincinnati. During his career, Mark has served with the SWAT Team, the Field Training Program and the Gang Intervention Unit. He is a past commander of the RAVEN Violent Crime Task Force and the Special Operations Bureau, and a former deputy chair of the agency's Force Review Board.

Mark earned his bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting from the University of Cincinnati and a master's in Organizational Leadership from Fort Hays State University. He is a graduate of Denver University's Public Safety Leadership Program and the national Senior Management Institute for Police.

Chief Juul

Chris Juul

Division Chief - Professional Standards and Training Division

Chris Juul is chief of the Professional Standards and Training Division, overseeing recruitment and training for the Aurora Police Department, the review process for uses of force and the Electronic Services Section, which provides technological support for the agency's body-worn camera program. He was named chief of Professional Standards and Training in 2022.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Chris began his career in 1994 with the Amarillo, Texas Police Department after earning his degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science from Washburn University in Topeka, Kan. Chris also served with the Burnsville, Minn. Police Department and the Arvada Police Department before joining the Aurora Police Department in 2004.

During his career in Aurora, Chris has served with the SWAT Team, captain of the training academy and as commander of the Special Operations Division. In 2016, Chris facilitated the adoption of a three-tier system for uses of force, which are reviewed by the Force Review Board. Four years later, he created the Force Investigations Unit, which investigates all uses of force by police officers.

Chris is a board member of the Juvenile Assessment Center and the Daniels Fund. He is a graduate of the national Senior Management Institute for Police.

John Schneebeck

John Schneebeck

Manager - Business Services Division

John Schneebeck is the manager of the Business Services Division, overseeing the Administrative Services Section, Equipment & Facilities Section, Records Section and the Property & Evidence Section. He joined the Aurora Police Department's executive command staff in 2011.

A Colorado Springs native, John joined the city of Aurora in 2006 as a management analyst with Aurora Water. In 2007, he held the senior management analyst position in the Neighborhood Services Department, providing financial, grant, and budget support, as well as system development for Code Enforcement. Before joining the police department, John returned to Aurora Water as the senior revenue analyst.

John holds a bachelor's degree in Finance and a master's in Business Administration. Both are from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He is a graduate of Leadership in Police Organizations and the national Senior Management Institute for Police.

Commander ShakerPatrick Shaker

Commander - District 1

Patrick Shaker is commander of District 1, managing more than 150 officers and professional staff members serving the residents of eleven beats in northwest and southwest Aurora. He was named commander of District 1 in 2023.

Commander Wittman

Eric Wittman

Commander -District 2

Eric Wittman is commander of District 2, overseeing a team of officers and professional staff members serving residents of eight beats in northeast Aurora. He was named commander of District 2 in 2023.

Eric began his law enforcement career in 1989 with the Oneida County Sheriff's Department in Oriskany, N.Y. after earning a Criminal Justice degree from Buffalo State College. In 1996, he moved to Colorado to join the Aurora Police Department. During his career with Aurora, Eric has served with or been a supervisor of the Training Academy, Community Policing Unit, Internal Affairs, Patrol and the SWAT Team.

Eric is a graduate of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association's Executive Leadership Institute and Command Leadership Institute, and the national Senior Management Institute for Police.

Commander Jackson

Robert Jackson

Commander -Special Operations Bureau

Bob Jackson is commander of the Special Operations Bureau, overseeing the following sections: Homeland Security, Strategic Enforcement, Traffic, Tactical Response and the Regional Anti-Violence Enforcement Network (RAVEN). He was named commander of Special Operations in 2023.

Bob was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1974 and was stationed for a stint in Colorado. After the service, Bob made Colorado his home. He earned his degree in Business Management from Columbia College-Denver before joining the Aurora Police Department in 1986.

During his career, Bob has served with the SWAT Team, as a School Resource Officer and as an investigator with the Narcotics Unit. His supervisory roles have included detective sergeant, command lieutenant of the Police Area Representative Unit and the Direct Action and Response Team and as commander of Internal Affairs and District 1.

Commander BrukbacherMatthew Brukbacher

Commander - District 3

Matthew Brukbacher is commander of District 3, managing more than 100 officers and professional staff members serving the residents of eight beats in southeast Aurora. He was named commander of District 3 in 2023.

Phillip Rathbun

Commander - Professional Standards and Training Bureau

Phillip Rathbun is commander of the Professional Standards and Training Bureau, overseeing the Training Section, Selection and Policy Section which includes the Recruiting and Background Units, Field Training, the Electronic Support Section and Organizational Development. He was appointed commander of the Professional Standards and Training Bureau in 2023.

Commander Cerinich

Chad Cerinich

Commander - Internal Affairs Bureau

Chad Cerinich is commander of the Internal Investigations Bureau, which is comprised of the Internal Affairs Unit and Force Investigations Unit of the Aurora Police Department. Chad was assigned to the Internal Investigations Bureau in July 2022 as a captain. He was appointed to commander in August 2023.

Chad began his career with the Aurora Police Department in 1990 and has served in a variety of assignments as both an officer and as a supervisor, with the SWAT Team, the Field Training Unit, the Emergency Response Team, Police Area Representatives and the Special Operations Bureau.

Chad graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science in Organization Management. He is also a graduate of the national Senior Management Institute for Police, University of Denver Public Safety Leadership Development Program, FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Command Institute, Rocky Mountain Command College and the International Association of Chiefs of Police Leadership in Police Organizations program.

Deputy Commanders and Bureau Captains

Captain McGhee
Captain Sam McGhee
District 1 Deputy Commander

District 2 Deputy Commander

Captain Edwards
Captain Troy Edwards
District 3 Deputy Commander

Capt Moody
Captain Randy Moody
Organizational Development 

Captain Paolino
Captain Marc Paolino
Community Engagement Bureau

Captain Hanifin
Captain Michael Hanifin
Focused Deterrence

Captain Lanigan
Captain Jad Lanigan
Technical Services Bureau

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