Loveland's Independent News Source
Police Chief Announces
Loveland - October 14, 2015

Loveland Police Chief Luke Hecker announced Tuesday he is retiring.  Hecker joined the Loveland Police Department in 1985
when the population of Loveland barely exceeded 30,000 residents.  Rising through the ranks as a highly decorated and
respected officer, Hecker became Loveland's Chief of Police 10 years ago and now commands a police department responsible
for protecting a population of just around 75,000.

The Coloradoan and Loveland Reporter-Herald newspapers both published stories about Hecker's retirement but each with its
own unique perspective.  The Coloradoan article, "
Embattled Longtime Loveland Police Chief to Retire" focuses on the
Fraternal Order of Police's (FOP) leaked survey last summer which indicated growing discontent within the department.  
According to FOP's survey of Loveland's 97 officers, 64% of the 63% percent who responded were dissatisfied with the
performance and management demonstrated by Chief Hecker.

Loveland's own newspaper, the Loveland Reporter-Herald, published an article today entitled "
Police Chief Announces
Retirement" which focuses on the city's own press release and comments made by the Chief about "harsh politics" he
describes as coming from a
"minority" of Loveland's City Council.  The article, much like the city's carefully written press
announcement, leans toward the conclusion that Hecker is retiring due to the harshness of a minority of city councilors.  One
councilman in particular, Troy Krenning, has been a vocal critic of Loveland's Police Chief and his handling of the lawsuit
against Loveland Detective Brian Koopman.  Krenning even held a press conference in front of Loveland's police headquarters
last July along with
Tim Masters to demand better police accountability.  The City of Loveland, at that time, already spent over
a quarter of a million dollars defending Koopman from lawsuits alleging misconduct.

Reasons Behind Retirement  

According to our inside sources, Chief Hecker saw his biggest legacy objective of building a regional law enforcement training
facility in Loveland fading away while a wealth of smaller issues continued to plague his management of the department.  

Hecker fought for years to establish a huge indoor shooting range and training center in Loveland for regional law enforcement
agencies.  Unfortunately, the other participants mostly backed-out (Ft. Collins and Larimer County) leaving Loveland to carry
the lion's share of the construction cost.  Fiscal conservatives on Loveland's City Council were skeptical of plans to "build it
and they will come" so continued poking at the viability of the project each time Chief Hecker appeared before council to brief
the progress of the proposed project.

Hecker was also particularly disappointed when Loveland's City Council failed to approve the addition of a witness protection
coordinator along with other civilian staff positions during a recent council meeting.  Instead, the Loveland City Council, in
reaction to complaints from the rank and file about too much overtime and long under-staffed shifts, decided to use the money
to his hire additional sworn officers.  This decision came after the council learned the police department reached a staffing
crisis of sworn officers where police were instructed only to respond to emergency calls due to the police staffing shortages.  
Instead of the civilian positions Hecker was seeking, Loveland's City Council appropriated funds to add additional officers to the
department raising the number to 104 sworn officers within 6 months.

As Centerra and other largely tax exempt developments continue to grow Loveland's General Fund monies required for public
safety are becoming more scarce.  Centerra enjoys what is essentially a rebate of 40% of sales taxes and 97% of most property
taxes that fund local services.  As Loveland's population continues to grow so does the demand for emergency services but not
necessarily the revenue commensurate with that growth.  Therefore, the same number of police officers are being asked to
police hundreds of miles of new roads in areas, like Centerra office buildings, that produce next to no revenue for the city is
creating a funding crisis for the city.

Hecker The Man

Despite retiring at a time when the confluence of issues facing his leadership appear insurmountable, Hecker continues to be
well regarded by those who both support and oppose his positions on city issues for his candor and courage to share with
people his true feelings.  When Loveland's city council chambers filled with literally hundreds of Colorado's "
marijuana dealers to demand Loveland license their businesses, Chief Hecker was among the very few to face the crowd and
explain why he believed the growth of marijuana trade in the community would endanger the city's youth and increase crime.

A devout Roman Catholic, Hecker was often seen reading the New Testament during long city council meetings and takes his
faith seriously.  His quotes to The Coloradoan are peppered with weighty prose one might find more at home in a homily like,

"I pray that God blesses the seeds the captains and I have toiled to sow over the last 10 years."

Even Hecker's toughest critics within the department concede he is an extraordinarily decent and exceptionally honest man but
maintain they believe it is time for new leadership.  They point to the way he approaches most issues as important moral
dilemma to weigh the good and evil instead of simply an administrative decision.  One Loveland City Councilman, speaking
off-record to LovelandPolitics, speculated City Manager Bill Cahill asked Chief Hecker to retire when it became obvious from a
recent council meeting Hecker could not persuade council to hire the victim coordinator position let alone fund a multi-million
dollar regional training facility.  Given Cahill's own credibility problems with this city council, he may believe Hecker's baggage
with the Koopman affair and poor FOP rating prevent him from being an asset to Cahill's management team when it comes time
to influence council decisions over budget disputes.

The curious portion of the Loveland Reporter-Herald story is the decision by council to fund additional officers and not hire the
other position proposed recently was by council consensus.  By definition, a "
minority" opinion on the council wouldhave no
bearing on these budget decisions or other matters impacting the Chief or his department unless that minority is instead a
majority.  Therefore, Hecker's concluding comments about a minority on council don't really make sense.
Loveland's Finest Make
Their Endorsements

In contrast to the area Realtor's
nomination process trouble by the
father of one candidate refusing to
accept their decision, Loveland's
Chapter of the Fraternal Order of
Police provided the following,

See Press Release of Endorsements