Broomfield city and county officials have selected Broomfield Police Department Deputy Chief of Operations Enea Hempelmann as the new police chief.
Hempelmann was announced as the new police chief Monday, four days after she and finalists Clint Nichols, the Commerce City police chief, and Mike Phibbs, the Auraria Campus police chief, appeared at a community forum.
She succeeds retiring Chief Gary Creager, who has served in the role since 2014.
Hempelmann was the top-ranked candidate in every forum and panel conducted, the city and county stated in a news release.
“With overwhelming support from the community and Broomfield Police Department team, it’s clear Ms. Hempelmann has the skills, vision and leadership to propel Broomfield into this new era of policing with and within our community,” City and County Manager Jennifer Hoffman said in a statement. “Hempelmann‘s position will be pivotal for our future as we remain a community committed to public safety, and continue to build a culture of compassion, inclusivity and equity.”
Hempelmann will be the first woman chief of the Broomfield Police Department. She is expected to start the job on Jan. 12 and will be sworn in the following week.
During the community forum, Hempelmann emphasized her established connections to the community and to the police department, including her intentionality in connecting with officers and reaching out to those who seem like they are struggling.
“When I think about the heart you have to have to lead an organization, it’s more than just the title of being a leader,” she said. “Being chief of police means being the face of Broomfield, and I realize that and I’m ready to take that on.”
Hempelmann also spoke about wanting to increase community engagement and the necessity of community feedback.
“I care about what this community thinks and I want to know if there’s something this police department needs to do differently if it’s not meeting the standard for our community,” Hempelmann said. “The community truly sets the expectation of the police department, and that’s why this police department does so well, because it reflects the community.”
Hemplemann was one of 23 applicants for the job, according to Broomfield spokesperson Carolyn Romero, and her hiring is Hoffman’s responsibility, aided by community, police department and council feedback.
Hempelmann has worked in the Broomfield Police Department for nearly 25 years, according to her biography on the city’s website, serving as a patrol officer, school resource officer, detective and sergeant. As deputy chief of operations, she oversees the operations bureau, which includes patrol, special operations and investigations.
Hempelmann was not available for an interview.