Aurora announces 3 then 2 police chief finalists, invites public input

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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.

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Hypocrisy Monitor
Hypocrisy Monitor
2 months ago

Here we go. Cue the activists clutching pearls over the exclusion of a candidate “that looks like they (most criminals) do.”

Zero
Zero
2 months ago

Oh snap, I just realized that all your frequent posting started when that racist cop for fired for mass emailing horrible stuff like this, HM. Got a lot of time on your hands these days, Dougie?

Hypocrisy Monitor
Hypocrisy Monitor
2 months ago
Reply to  Zero

Swing and a miss.

GeneD
2 months ago

Um, we’ve got a retired cop from a statewide, not municipal, background, and a representative of a police department already under Federal review for a variety of reasons, including inappropriate use of force.

Who cares what they look like? Get someone qualified who can keep cleaning house and restoring trust.

Police reform activists look like criminals to you? Look in the mirror – they look like you!

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
2 months ago

No, actually, it’s a given that they are all republicans. No clutching of pearls, but yours is a denigrating comment. We know exactly what you’re thinking.

Hypocrisy Monitor
Hypocrisy Monitor
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe Felice

Let me save you some mind-reading. It is well documented that young black men are extraordinarily overrepresented in violent criminal activity in America. Facts.

Doug
Doug
2 months ago

And why might that be?

rose
rose
2 months ago

can we get the ‘town manager’ to resign at the same time? Does the Mayor actually do anything?

Bob Wert
Bob Wert
2 months ago

I am confused about the comment that activists will be upset that the exclusion of Mr. Booth. Mr. Booth appears to have the same skin color as the other two candidates.

I do not seem to be able to copy a picture of Chief Booth but if you Google Chief Scoot Booth, Danville, Virginia he appears to be a Caucasian.

Also, do you have any statistics on which race commits the most crimes in Aurora. How do you know it is whites?

Debra MacKillop
Debra MacKillop
2 months ago

hope it doesn’t continue the old-boy crony cover-up system in APD, cause it needs reform and has a terrible reputation, for good reason, and under interim and before Wilson, the APD was resisting reform in all ways it could and still is

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
2 months ago

It should be assumed they are all republicans, otherwise the “City Council” will have serious issues with the selection.

Doug
Doug
2 months ago

Not impressed thus far. But then, who wants to jump into this frying pan?

Robert Soup
Robert Soup
2 months ago

I wonder why the third guy withdrew? Maybe he googled Aurora Police finally and realized that even the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Aurora pays a police chief is not worth the career suicide?

Can’t imagine why any good and stable person would want to be Police Chief in Aurora right now. There are too many red flags to count.

#1 reason is why would anyone sane put their families’ lives the hands of someone as volatile and power-mad as Councilwoman Jurinsky? She has a track record of changing her mind on a whim and going on a tangent, she could suddenly decide to go on the radio at any time, with no consequences at all, and threaten the city manager to fire anyone who she gets a wild hair against – and her temper tantrums are unpredictable, so whose to say she won’t immediately go on a witch hunt for the new guy as soon as he gets here, or turn around and backstab him in a few months? For jobs like Chief of Police, experienced staff uproot their whole lives and move their families across the country – would you want to make your kids and your family move to a place where it’s so easy for one woman on a power trip against you?

And that’s just one person on Council. A new chief is being hired to fix a department that is underwater in scandal, one that is in the news much too frequently for police officers who can’t be fired or disciplined when they abuse people, beat people, kill people. The head of the police organization has been all over the news trying to STOP any changes, but simultaneously the people and the Council are demanding reform. And even that Council is hopelessly gridlocked in their ideas about what types of reform are needed. To be Chief is to put yourself in the middle of twenty different catfights, and you can’t make everyone happy ever – there is no way to do the job without pissing off half of the police officers (either the faction of officers that want to change or the faction that doesn’t want to change is going to be upset) and half the Council and half the city – there WILL be thousands of people who hate you, no matter what you do – and when one mad lady can go on the radio and get you fired and your life ruined, there’s no way to win. It’s a wonder even two men remain who want the job at all – and I wonder what makes this job appealing to them at all??

Doug
Doug
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Soup

Well said!!

Doug
Doug
2 months ago

No to both. Find another female/poc/and someone who can relate to our diversity in Aurora.

Hypocrisy Monitor
Hypocrisy Monitor
2 months ago
Reply to  Doug

Identity politics much? Please provide data that proves why you think skin color or gender is the best indicator of competence for this position. Perhaps experience and values might be a better barometer.

Doug
Doug
2 months ago

Only have to look at the candidates to see my point. Plenty of people out there

Publius
Publius
2 months ago
Reply to  Doug

So like Chief Metz or Chief Wilson?

Doug
Doug
2 months ago
Reply to  Publius

Knew Metz, great guy. Wilson? Was doing fine until Danielle appeared and her conservative buddies.