DENVER (CBS4) – CBS4 has learned that new Denver Police Chief Robert White has made his first major personnel move, demoting veteran Division Chief Tracie Keesee to captain and sending her to run the Office of Emergency Management.
“I assume he is moving forward with his plan,” said Keesee, when contacted by CBS4 Tuesday afternoon.
Keesee, a 23-year department veteran, was widely seen as a potential DPD chief before Mayor Michael Hancock selected White, who was the Louisville police chief. Subsequent to that, many DPD insiders believed White would promote Keesee to a deputy chief role as something of a consolation for her being passed over for Chief. Instead, White moved in the opposite direction, making a move that will cut Keesee’s salary and prestige.
Division chiefs make about $138,000 per year while captains are paid $115,000 annually.
“I always knew that was an option,” Keesee said.
She said White met with her Tuesday morning and informed her of his decision.
Lt. Matt Murray, an aide to Chief White, told CBS4, “The chief felt it was in the best interest of the department to make this move at this time.”
Keesee had been the Division Chief of Research, Training and Technology and has strong support throughout the department. Of the demotion, Keesee said, “I always knew that was an option. You go with what you’re assigned. I’m happy I still have a job.”
Keesee said she will begin her new role Wednesday.