AURORA | The City of Aurora has announced the finalists for the job of leading the Aurora Police Department and is welcoming the public’s input now before a new chief is chosen, according to a city press release.
Three names were initially announced Wednesday, though the field abruptly narrowed to two candidates that same day when the city said Scott Booth of Danville, Virginia withdrew following the announcement.
Former chief Vanessa Wilson was fired in April amidst conflict over police reform within the department and on the City Council. When asked about Wilson’s firing, City Manager Jim Twombly alleged leadership problems in the department but did not say what Wilson had done specifically to lose her job. Former chief Dan Oates was tapped as interim chief shortly after.
Finalists chosen by California-based recruiting firm Public Sector Search & Consulting include:
- Scott Ebner, a retired lieutenant colonel and deputy superintendent of administration for New Jersey State Police.
- David Franklin, chief of staff of the Albuquerque, New Mexico police department.
After Booth’s withdrawal, for which no reason was given, city spokesman Ryan Luby wrote in an email that the city “will be connecting with our recruiting firm for further insight.”
“At this moment, the city will proceed with the two remaining finalists but may approach some of the original semi-finalists for reconsideration,” Luby wrote. “We will provide more details when and if that occurs.”
According to a city release, finalists for the chief’s job will be put through a three-day interview process, starting Sept. 26, when they will tour the Aurora Police Department and meet with sworn and civilian APD employees.
The next day, they will take questions from a community panel, engage in recorded interviews, meet with community leaders and attend a public meet-and-greet. Finally, on Sept. 28, they will be interviewed by members of the Aurora City Council in small groups, as well as senior city officials.
Members of the public can offer input by attending the meet-and-greet at 6 p.m. in the lobby of the Aurora Municipal Center, by submitting questions through online portals in English and Spanish before 5 p.m. on Sept. 25 that may be asked in the recorded interview on Sept. 27, and by giving feedback on those interviews online after they’re published on the afternoon of the Sept. 27.
“Aurora’s city charter requires the city manager to hire a police chief and receive approval from the majority of the Aurora City Council,” the city release said. “A selection is expected in the coming weeks following the community feedback opportunities and a rigorous background investigation of the selected finalist.”
The release was issued before Booth’s withdrawal. Luby said it was unclear whether and how the elimination of a finalist would impact the hiring timeline.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more details are available.