AURORA | Aurora Interim Police Chief Art Acevedo named Heather Morris as interim deputy chief Thursday, elevating an outside law enforcement officer to the second-highest role in the police department.

Acevedo and Morris worked at the same time for Houston’s Police Department, where Acevedo served as chief prior to a brief stint as Miami’s top cop in 2021. Morris retired from Houston’s department in 2021 as assistant chief. She brings 22 years of experience in patrol, field training, DUI enforcement and criminal and internal affairs investigations, according to a news release.

“I’ve always believed in working with the community and being a true representative of the

Heather Morris, photo via Aurora Police Department

people we serve every day, no matter my title,” Morris said in the release.

“The idea of coming to Aurora and helping move the department forward, having a hand in the positive steps we’re taking, I knew I wanted to be part of that. I plan on working with the community and finding ways to bring them into our processes so everyone understands our department and the good work we’re doing.”

Morris received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in criminology from the University of Houston. She also spent time as deputy chief of the Miami Police Department under Acevedo during his time there.

According to a job description shared by Aurora police, the deputy chief job includes diverse responsibilities such as budgeting, interagency coordination, management, training, communication, planning and discipline. Morris may also be expected to act as chief in Acevedo’s absence.

City spokesman Ryan Luby said he did not believe Morris’ employment contract had an end date but was instead open-ended like Acevedo’s.

Police spokesman Matt Wells-Longshore said the “interim” nature of the role reflected the fact that the city has still not settled on a new permanent police chief, but that Morris will perform all of the duties of a deputy chief.

Acevedo said in the news release that he recognized a “desire for fresh perspective” among officers since arriving in Aurora in December. 

“Deputy Chief Morris is a seasoned police executive who has a record of sustained excellence throughout her over two decades of service,” he said. “She is a high energy, ethical professional, and is committed to organizational excellence. I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact she has had on the teams she led.”

Morris said she looks forward to involving herself in the community and trying outdoor sports. She is scheduled to be sworn in April 3.

Join the Conversation


  1. Huh. No comments.
    I for one hope for the best.
    It still bothers me that both these officers bear similar characteristics to Chief Wilson with the exception that she is a lesbian. I do believe she was fired for that reason.

    1. We worked with plenty of lesbians and even one transgender. It was not a problem for us. You are ignoring horrendous flaws in Chief Wilson.

      1. Correct, there are way more lesbians and male gay cops at APD than most people realize, they have always been there.

    2. What? Wilson was fired because she was a lesbian??? Let’s set this straight. Wilson was “hired” as chief because she was a lesbian and checked off a box. Wilson was fired because she was incompetent, unethical, immoral, and a poor leader. Take off your PC rose colored glasses for a moment and look into her past. Oh that’s right, no one can really look into Wilson’s past criminal and unethical behavior because reports and other documentation have either disappeared or were hidden. You don’t think so? Then prove me, and everyone else who knows, wrong. You have zero clue of the cover ups for her, and what she did for her select few on the department.

      1. Agreed! Wilson didn’t care who she threw under the bus or who’s life she destroyed as long as it helped her, Billy, Chris’s or any of her other little buddies that benefited from her lack of morality and dignity. The lengths she went to try and stay in the Chief’s office are just disgusting and I truly hope they come to light so that this publication and the City can finally see her for the monster that she is and maybe she will run away and save the taxpayers the cost of her bs suit. I am just glad her time sucking off the City is about to end and she has to find a real job. I think her qualifications land somewhere around Wal-Mart greater.

        1. Unlike you, I look forward to the open court process of sessions with these Gov. officials on the stand. A couple are on the way as you know. Let Wilson sue Aurora which she said she was going to do for her firing by the city. Hopefully, the city will hire a lawyer that can drill into the stench that was lingering in APD management exclusively the top.
          The second case a class action, the lawsuit against Arapahoe counties social services department and Robin Niceta. We will hear things we had no idea existed that were going on within these agencies. And most important did Vanessa Wilson know what her girlfriend was up to and otherwise her notions on the criminal plan with Danielle Jurinsky? Wilson says she knew nothing, I don’t believe that. Pillow talk, sometimes is pretty informative.  

  2. I cannot tell enough from this information to form an opinion. However, given the terrible reputation and behavior of APD, and the great diversity of Aurora, I would like to see local people of a diverse nature appointed to these positions, who believe in real change and will get that done, and support moving funds to a STAR-like program in Aurora to take the mental health/traffic stop/homeless/welfare checks/neighborhood disputes kinds of issues away from the police to people trained in de-escalation and with backgrounds to handle these calls better and divert them to the new program.

  3. After Houston, Aurora will feel like a walk in the park. I hope she is made to feel welcomed and respected.

  4. APD needs a revolving door in the chiefs office to make it easier. Aurora has always picked bad chiefs….look at the history. If you want puppets you get puppets

  5. She’s an interim chief and sure looks like she’s who Aurora needs while we wait. We’re hurtin’

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *