By Todd Peterson
April 05, 2004 05:39 PM

Actress Charlotte Ross, who has been with the long-running ABC drama “NYPD Blue” since 2001, has decided to hang up her badge for good.

Ross, who plays Det. Connie McDowell, took maternity leave from the show to give birth to her son last month and she will not return, the Associated Press reports.

Michael Goldman, Ross’s husband and manager, told TV Guide Online that the 36-year-old actress was burnt out on her role. Plus, “(She) really also wanted to be a mom,” Goldman said.

On the show, McDowell is married to Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz), so her departure will create an interesting dilemma. A rep for the show said producers had not made a decision “one way or the other” as to what would happen.

The show’s 12th and final season was announced in February, although series creator Steven Bochco said it could return if it performed exceptionally well. But he indicated that was a remote possibility. “It’s better to go out early rather than overstay our welcome,” Bochco told Reuters.

“NYPD Blue” is currently the second longest-running show on television, after “Law & Order.”