Miami Beach officials say they’re hiring Aurora police chief Dan Oates

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AURORA | Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates is leaving to take a job in Miami Beach, Fla., after eight years of being the city’s top cop. 

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates is reportedly in line to become the new top cop for the Miami Beach Police Department.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates is reportedly in line to become the new top cop for the Miami Beach Police Department.

Aurora officials confirmed Wednesday that Oates indicated he is leaving.

Mayor Steve Hogan said he wished Oates well in his new position.

“It’s a loss to the city, but I think it’s a step forward for him,” he said.

Since Oates took over the department in 2005, crime has dropped steadily. Overall, major crime was down 25 percent from 2005 to 2013.

The crime reduction came at a time when crime was falling around the country, but from year-to-year Aurora’s reductions tended to outpace national averages.

Hogan said it wouldn’t be appropriate to lay all of the credit for the drop in crime at Oates’ feet, but he said the chief played a role.

“Certainly having a professional of his caliber in charge helps to reinforce with the department things we are going to do, things we aren’t going to do,” he said.

Among some of Oates’ policy decisions were an increased focus on non-fatal shootings not long after he took over, assigning homicide detectives to investigate those crimes with the same resources as fatal shootings.

During Oates’ tenure, the department also launched a summer crime crackdown that saw more officers on the streets during summer evenings, when crime tends to spike and initiatives aimed at burglary.

Through a department spokesman, Oates declined to comment Wednesday.

“The chief has advised me that he feels it is inappropriate for him to comment on this matter until there is formal action by the Miami Beach City Commission, which may occur next Wednesday,” Aurora police spokesman Sgt. Chris Amsler said. 

As for Oates’ replacement, Hogan said the city will consider some current members of the department, but will also undergo a national search. The last search for a police chief in 2005 lasted several months, with Deputy Chief Terry Jones assuming the role of interim chief for nine months before Oates’ appointment.

During his time in Aurora, Oates has occasionally butted heads with the city’s Civil Service Commission, particularly over their decision to overturn the chief’s discipline of officers. Early in his tenure, Oates backed a handful of ballot measures aimed at limiting the commission’s role in police hiring and firing, but voters  rejected the most far-reaching measures.

Oates also butted heads at times with the police officers’ union, particularly in his early days in Aurora. The spats included issues as minor as shoulder patches on police uniforms — Oates mandated the patches despite a poll of officers that showed overwhelming opposition. He later said he regretted his handling of the issue.

The two sides also feuded about Oates’ desire to have more of a say in hiring and promoting officers, as opposed to the Civil Service Commission playing a major role in those decisions.

Retired Aurora police Detective Don James was the president of Aurora Police for 10 years before he retired in 2011. During that stretch, the union and chief quarreled regularly, particularly when it came to issues surrounding hiring and promotions.

James said many of the issues between the chief and the union in Oates’ early days were the product of typical rifts between management and labor, though the issues often seemed more contentious because the two sides were particularly opinionated. Over time, as the two sides got to know each other better, James said the relationship improved.

“We were able to come to a better place,” he said.

James, who wished Oates well in his new post, said the chief was always adept at networking and politicking, and that he brought a level of sophistication to the chief’s office that wasn’t there before.

Oates garnered national attention after the July 2012 Aurora theater shooting.

“It was a searing event for the police department as well as the whole community,” Oates said after a solemn remembrance service on the anniversary of the shootings.

Oates was highly visible in the first few days after the shootings and showed a flash of anger when investigators found potentially deadly booby traps in Holmes’ apartment.

“You think we’re angry? We sure as hell are angry,” Oates said.

Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple charges of murder and attempted murder, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. His trial is scheduled to start in October.

Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales told the Miami Herald he plans to appoint Oates to the job. Oates told the Aurora Sentinel Wednesday morning he had no comment on the reports. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine told KUSA-TV in Denver that Oates was the only candidate for the job and that the City Commission would vote on the appointment next week.

Oates previously spent 21 years with the New York City Police Department, eventually serving as chief of intelligence and a deputy chief overseeing 3,000 patrol officers in Brooklyn.

Between the New York and Aurora jobs, he was chief of the police and fire departments in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

 

Here’s a look at a handful of names that could pop up during the search for a new chief

Rob McGregor

McGregor grew up in Aurora and has been with APD since 1995. He has climbed steadily through the ranks and last year was appointed division chief overseeing 249 officers in the investigative division.

Roy Minter

Minter spent 15 years with Aurora police before becoming police chief in Denton, Texas, in 2007. He is currently police chief in Peoria, Ariz. During his time in Aurora, Minter became the department’s first black commander in 2006.

Fran Gomez

Gomez started with APD in 1990 and became the department’s first female commander in 2012. Last year, she took a job as deputy police chief in Commerce City.

Terry Jones

The department’s deputy chief, Jones has been with APD since 1979. He served as interim chief for nine months in 2005 before Oates was hired.

 

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Aldo Elmnight
Aldo Elmnight
8 years ago

Good riddence.

The man
The man
8 years ago

Thankfully the cancer is gone. Now he will destroy another department. We can’t thank Miami Beach enough. The names of possible candidates are good but here’s one Tracee Keesee Denver PD Commander. It would put this place into the forefront of police work with her at the helm.
Good bye and good riddance Danny Dumbo!!!!

sassy
sassy
8 years ago

Wow, Oates destroyed this City in many ways, the crime has not changed… and all the officers moral is at, its lowest. Oates is a control freak and wants to run with no rules except of his own. Now, he will probably destroy that fine small surburban police department in Miami Beach? But, we all see its their problem now. The theather shooting highest regards go out to the police officers of that night and the only glory belongs to them hauling victims in patrol cars to the nearest hospitals. And, Oates butted heads with everyone it was his way, or I will fire you, way! Any personal attack to make your life hell, that was him I know.
I, and many people couldnt be more ecstatic then most of the entire police department staff and people of the City of Aurora. Good Ridden’ s Dan Gotti. You will not be missed you nearly destroyed my hubands career, and my family because you hate and your an evil man! Let me think, you might have a new police directive policy….,”don’t shoot at a shark or alitgator “? Your very lucky you found a police chief job, period and I truly feel for that city, and its staff. Our lives and many lives will be back to normal after the storm leaves, you are nothing but a monster!!!!!!!!!!! JF

sassy
sassy
8 years ago

I, think the city of Aurora has voted for a FEMALE… remember, you can’t be prejudice…… her name is Tracee Keese, and she has a pair and will make you all feel proud of you and your job and is fair. The fear of Danny Gotti Oates, nightmare is over.

sassy
sassy
8 years ago

Hey, why isn’t Perry writing this article? Oh, he is probably at home sniffling with a migraine heachache and upset with tears because who is now going to fight his battles since his back up plan with Oates leaving sentinel’ perry’s….behind. Perry your a VICIOUS monster to, but not as bad. Lets see your stories in the next year, and I will compare allll the ones that I saved to the ones under a new chief to see if your easily Influenced or somewhere you have one brain cell????

sassy
sassy
8 years ago

Please feel free to comment dont worry, you won’t be fired or transferred. My husband a 19 year veteran, and I have lots to say after being harassed over & over by Oates and thanks CSC for believing in a good cop verses a bad chief ……

sassy
sassy
8 years ago

Wow, I feel great that I could comment all day but that eeally

guest
guest
8 years ago

Sassy. Stop already!Not for nothing. But who are you going to complain about when Oates and Charlie are gone?

sassy
sassy
8 years ago
Reply to  guest

Wow, dum dum they are both gone, who knows maybe you! Don’t tell me to stop, and who are you? This is a box to make comments not friends.
You don’t like …..then don’t read!!!

guest
guest
8 years ago
Reply to  sassy

Well Joann, it’s simple. You don’t get topsay whatever you want and not have people respond.

sassy
sassy
8 years ago
Reply to  guest

Its JoeAnn, and I just did ! You must feel sour about my comments or your grieving.
I am so sorry your upset.

sassy
sassy
8 years ago
Reply to  sassy

“Everyone” has a topsay regarding any issue, but just happens that Oates and his brass monkeys have numerous times TRIED to destroy my family….Tried!!
And, you would be pist to. I don’t know your rank or who you are and the really don’t care to be honest . ….

sassy
sassy
8 years ago

Where are you ASHLEY ???

sassy
sassy
8 years ago

Where is Tom Sanders??

Ashley In Aurora
Ashley In Aurora
8 years ago

Dear Dan Oates, let me know what time you’ll be on the highway out of town. You’ll get your confirmation who Ashley is and will recognize me by the middle digit salute flying high in the air as you pass by.
You couldn’t possibly leave Aurora fast enough for me and the vast majority of everyone I know.

guest
guest
8 years ago

Can’t wait to see who “Ashley” in Aurora Is, we’re all waiting to find out.

sassy
sassy
8 years ago
Reply to  guest

Nope! You won’t know, that I can tell you especially on Aurora Mental Paper, or Disqu.

sassy
sassy
8 years ago

I have noticed, not one person on this web site has wished OATES luck even though Hogan, and Noe states it in the column but I am 110 %, that they are joyous inside. Oates will always be an OATH BREAKER.
My husband saved his life in a shooting with a stolen vehicle heading straight at him in the dark and the chief protected his paper policy instead of being thankful, that we did not have to bury two officers, this is what really confuses us. Don’t ya think? Oh, Oates teach your new police man guys to learn a MATRIX job, so they don’t have to shoot at a moving stolen vehicle after yelling police commands.

Ashley In Aurora
Ashley In Aurora
8 years ago

Now I’d like to turn my attention to this list of possible replacements. I heard today they are all friends of council lady Barb Cleland. Tell me council, is Cleland the new Richardson? Hmmmm……

I’ll pick them off one at a time. What I know or have been told:

Rob McGregor: Not enough experience. Hasn’t had time to fully learn the job of Division Chief yet. Much less tackle the position of Chief. Next!

Roy Minter: Wasn’t well liked by officers on APD during his last go round. He was considered a poor decision maker. He authorized the hiring of an officer (LaFrance) who had been in trouble at another agency due to being hands on with the lady citizens. Then the guy comes to Aurora, becomes an SRO, and does the same with school girls. Next!

Fran Gomez: Long ago I was told when the DOJ was here investigating APD’s hiring practices of minorities, she offered up an interesting idea to the Chief. A promote me deal because she is female and with the last name, Gomez, they would think she is hispanic. She’s as white as the driven snow and apparently as dim as a blown out light bulb. Next!

Terry Jones: Haven’t heard he actually wants it. Next!

Tracie Keesee: https://denver.cbslocal.com/2011/06/30/denver-police-take-home-car-goes-too-far/

……and then there was this: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/dpd-chief-robert-white-de_n_1246509.html

Next!

Ashley In Aurora
Ashley In Aurora
8 years ago

Now let me opine regarding who the officer’s of APD and the citizens need in it’s next Chief. Not who council thinks they need. Remember council, we put you in those seats to work on our behalf. Not your own.

In today’s Denver Post, council lady Renie Peterson said morale in the department is low. It hasn’t been low since Oates announced his imminent departure to Miami Beach. If you want the morale to raise even higher, get things righted with all these officer involved lawsuits and put Ken Murphy where he belongs. As the new chief of Aurora. Remember council and citizens, nobody has truly heard Murphy’s, Swanson’s and Falco’s side of the story even as yet. (Apparently, Oates is about to dip out prior to all the court dates. Resolution of this big pile of doggy-doo will be handed off to someone else to deal with. What else is new? (Oates incites the problem and a subordinate ends up with the stinky fingers)!

I digress….back to Ken Murphy: It’s high time our officers have a leader who is an officer’s officer not a politician pretending to be a cop. Someone who has crawled down the alley’s shoulder to shoulder with them and after 32 years of hard work, come up through the ranks right here in A-town.

I’ve been told time and again, our officer’s have found Murphy to be fair and has been a fierce protector when a punishment is unfair.

What the citizens need to know is that he is respectful at all times, friendly, open to hearing your concerns and actually cares about our safety. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a citizen who has experienced anything less from him.

Here is his APD work history & education bio pre-Oates debacle: https://www.auroragov.org/cs/groups/public/documents/document/018443.pdf

I’ll end by quoting Ken Murphy as he said it best and I’d wager he believes every word of it:

“I truly believe that you are only as good as the people you work with. I was given a tremendous opportunity 28 years ago to be part of an outstanding police department. I am very fortunate for having spent my whole career at the Aurora Police Department. I have been successful due to the dedicated and professional women and men of the Aurora Police Department.”
Amen.

sassy
sassy
8 years ago

I would think, the officers would love Ken Murphy, who is an upstanding TOPCOP. If any one who has a brain cell would agree.

Remember COUNCIL, this is not about you or Cleland, or anyone but our honest good officers.

sassy
sassy
8 years ago
Reply to  sassy

Ken Murphy for chief… its the right thing to do and the only person to clean up afer Oates’ disaster.

sassy
sassy
8 years ago

And, yes Ashley. Oates is truly leaving his mess behind that has to do lives, family, and career’s.

What a joke he was, and he knew it was time to bail years ago.

Sassy
Sassy
8 years ago

This day is a true blessing that God refuses to hold hands with this devil, I have never in my life seen what evil is until Oates, who showed his true colors over the years to be a fool political pathetic person. He is not a topcop and never was a cop, he is an attorney who should pratice law and stay far away from any police department. He ruined officers morale and thought he knew it all, that’s why he has been looking for another job because the shhhitt was up to his knees. I could only pray, that the officers that filed cases on Oates wins because he toyed with their career and life which reflects their families. The joy within and the talk, you can hear the relief in their voices.
See you in July, 2014 to face my husband and I, in court for being all so wrong and pure evil. You will always be a monster using your charm, that has ran its course here and it was time for you to go, but I hope to see you at least on 3 appeal cases of good men called police offficers, who you just couldn’t see pass them except only seeing you with that attorney vicious ego.