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The Town of Vail on Monday issued the following press release on the retirement of Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger:
After 21 years of service, Police Chief Dwight Henninger has announced his retirement from the Vail Police Department effective March 17.
During his tenure at the Vail Police Department, Henninger received many awards and brought stability to the well-respected agency from both residents and policing professionals in the region and state. “I am particularly proud of the exceptional Vail Police employees I have had the pleasure of leading, of the work building trust with the Eagle County Law Enforcement Immigrant Alliance and of the emergency management work to build the capacity of Vail and the Northwest Region to respond to critical incidents,” said Henninger.
Henninger completed a term as the President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in October 2022, where he represented Vail and Colorado around the world and domestically, helping advance the policing profession in the 170 countries that are members of the IACP. His efforts to create a long-term strategy of trust building between policing agencies and the communities they serve has been recognized as a significant shift from the IACP’s previous history of single year presidential priorities.
Henninger has accepted a newly created position with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as the Senior Law Enforcement Partnership Advisor in Washington D.C. “I am looking forward to helping ATF support and enhance collaborative efforts with state and local law enforcement to execute on ATF’s mission to protect communities from violent criminals, using the lessons I have learned as President of IACP and as chief here in Vail,” he said.
Town Manager Russ Forrest thanked Chief Henninger for his leadership in creating one of the best police departments in the high country over his years of service to the Town of Vail. “Dwight has been committed to high standard of police service and ethical behavior both here in Vail and also around the world as the President of the International Association of Police Chiefs,” said Forrest. “He will be sorely missed, and we wish Dwight the very best in his new role.”
Following Henniger’s retirement, Commander Ryan Kenney will take over as the Interim Chief of Police. Kenney is a 6-year veteran of the Vail Police Department after serving for 23 years with the Boca Raton, Florida Police Department. “I am very confident in Commander Kenney as he assumes the Interim Chief role and look forward to working with him,” Forrest said.
Here’s the press release on Henninger’s hire by the ATF:
Today, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director Steven Dettelbach announced Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger as the first Senior Law Enforcement Partnership Advisor to the Director for ATF.
As Senior Law Enforcement Advisor, Henninger will focus on law enforcement coordination work across 25 ATF field divisions. He will support and enhance ATF’s relationships with law enforcement entities by providing technical expertise and specific program suggestions to help develop and maintain effective, sustainable relationships with local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as promote ATF partnerships with key local stakeholders. This newly created position is located within the office of the director.
“Everything we do at ATF begins and ends with public safety, and we hold dear our strong local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partnerships,” Dettelbach said. “That is why we created this high-level position, which will focus exclusively on ATF’s prized relationships with our law enforcement partners. We are thrilled to have a national leader like Chief Henninger join ATF’s team. He brings with him 43 years of law enforcement service, with 21 of those years in key leadership roles, including as chief of police and recently as president of International Association of Chiefs of Police. We are eager to put his knowledge and unique expertise into action at ATF.”
Henninger is retiring in March from the Vail Police Department, where he served as chief of police since 2002. During his tenure, he brought stability to the agency and received many awards from residents and policing professionals in the state and region.
In 2022, Henninger completed a term as president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the world’s largest professional association for police leaders with more than 32,000 members in over 170 countries. As president, Henninger represented Colorado domestically and around the world, helping advance the policing profession globally. His efforts to build a long-term strategy of trust building between policing agencies and the communities they serve has been recognized as a significant shift from the IACP’s previous history of single-year presidential priorities.
“ATF has a long history of supporting their law enforcement partners, and I am looking forward to using the lessons I have learned as president of IACP and as chief of police to help ATF enhance their collaborative efforts across local and state law enforcement to execute on their mission of protecting communities from violent criminals,” Henninger said.
Henninger is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police and the California Peace Officer Standards and Training Command College. He received master’s degrees from University of California, Irvine in Business and Public Administration and from San Diego State University in Leadership.