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Executive Leadership Team

Chief Morris

Heather Morris

 Interim Chief of Police

Heather Morris was sworn in as Interim Chief of Police on Jan. 22, 2024. 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.


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.


Division Chief Cerinich

Chad Cerinich

Division Chief - Special Operations Division

Chad Cerinich is Division Chief of the Special Operations Division, which is comprised Homeland Security Section, Strategic Enforcement Section, Traffic Section, Tactical Response Section and the Reginal Anti-Violence Enforcement Network (RAVEN) of the Aurora Police Department. He was appointed to Division Chief in January 2024.

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, Special Operations Bureau and was most recently the Commander of the Internal Investigations Bureau before his appointment.

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.



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. Patrick was appointed commander of District 1 in 2023.

Patrick is a native of rural Wisconsin. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Winona State University prior to starting his career with the Aurora Police Department in November 2001. During his career, Patrick has served in a variety of positions including patrol, internal affairs, community policing and problem solving as a Police Area Representative, proactive policing with the bicycle unit, and emergency response team operations.



Commander PendletonScott Pendleton

Commander - District 2

Scott Pendleton 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.

Scott began his law enforcement career in 1991 with the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department in Cheyenne, Wyo. after earning his bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice and Psychology from the University of Wyoming. Scott moved to Colorado in 1995 to join the Aurora Police Department.

During his career with Aurora, Scott has served in supervisory positions with the Patrol Division, the Field Training Officer program, Police Area Representatives, the General Investigations Section, the Narcotics Unit and the Major Crime Homicide Unit. Prior to his appointment to commander, Scott was the lieutenant of the Tactical Response Section, overseeing SWAT, K9, and the Crisis Response Team, as well as the fugitive unit.

Scott is a graduate of the FBI Law Enforcement Command Leadership Institute, the University of Denver’s Public Safety Leadership Development program and the National Tactical Officer’s Association SWAT Command Decision Making and Leadership Course.


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.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Matthew earned a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice in 2000 from Winona State University in Minnesota. He started his law enforcement career with the Aurora Police Department later that same year.

Matthew has served in a variety of positions as an officer and a supervisor in the patrol division, including as a Police Area Representative. In 2009, Matthew volunteered to serve as a squad leader with the Emergency Response Team, a position he held until 2019 when he was named deputy commander and the first full-time member of the unit. He became commander of the Emergency Response Team a year later when he was promoted to lieutenant.

Due to his many years of service to the Emergency Response Team, Matthew is highly regarded in the Denver metropolitan area as a subject matter expert in crowd control operations.



Commander RathbunPhillip Rathbun

Commander - Professional Standards and Training Bureau

Phillip Rathbun is commander of the Professional Standards and Training Bureau, overseeing the Training Section, as well as the Selection and Policy Section of the Aurora Police Department. The Training and Policy sections are comprised of the Recruiting & Background Unit, Field Training Section, the Electronic Support Section and Organizational Development. Phillip was named commander of Professional Standards and Training in 2023.

Phillip is a Colorado native and joined the Aurora Police Department in 2005. During his career with Aurora, Phillp has served as a member or supervisor of the School Resource Unit, Gang Intervention Unit, Intelligence Unit and as a Police Area Representative. Phillip would go on to serve in leadership roles in both the Aurora Police Academy, Field Training Program and the Unified Forensic Laboratory.

Phillip earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Central State University of Ohio, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He is also a graduate of the Denver University Public Safety Leadership program, as well as an FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association trilogy recipient. Phillip has served as a member of the Colorado POST Curriculum Committee as a subject matter expert, as well as provided training for the National Association of Field Training Officers.


Commander Poppe

Christopher Poppe

Commander - Special Operations Bureau

Chris Poppe is commander of the Special Operations Bureau, overseeing the Homeland Security, Strategic Enforcement, Traffic and Tactical Response sections of the Aurora Police Department, as well as the Regional Anti-Violence Enforcement Network, or RAVEN. He was named commander of Special Operations in 2023.

An Aurora native, Chris graduated from Gateway High School before earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Metro State University in Denver. He joined the Aurora Police Department in 1996.

Chris dedicated more than a decade of his career serving with the Narcotics Unit. He has held supervisory roles with the Direct Action Response Team, the Crimes Against Children and Internet Crimes Against Children units, the FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force, the Electronic Support Section and the Investigative Support Section. Prior to his appointment to commander, Chris was the lieutenant of the Strategic Enforcement Section, overseeing the Narcotics Unit, the Gang Investigation Unit, the Gang & Robbery Investigations Team and the Direct Action Response Team.

Chris is a graduate of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Leadership in Police Organizations program, the FBI’s Command College and the University of Denver’s Public Safety Leadership Development program.


Commander GaskillMichael Gaskill

Commander - Internal Investigations Bureau

Michael Gaskill is commander of the Internal Investigations Bureau, which is comprised of the Internal Affairs Unit and Force Investigations Unit of the Aurora Police Department. Michael was appointed to commander in January 2024.

A Lindenhurst, N.Y. native and a U.S. Air Force veteran, Michael began his career with the Aurora Police Department in 2000. He has served in supervisory roles with the Gang Intervention Unit, the Direct Action Response Team, the Major Crime Homicide Unit, the Metro Gang Task Force and most recently as commander of the Regional Anti-Violence Enforcement Network, or RAVEN.

Michael graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement Administration. He is also a graduate of the University of Denver Public Safety Leadership Development Program 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

Captain Wittman
Captain Eric Wittman
District 2 Deputy Commander

Lt. Stull
Lieutenant Jake Stull
District 3 Deputy Commander

Captain Brown
Captain Terry Brown
Investigations Section

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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