Aurora council to talk about car part theft, paramedics’ use of sedatives and Houston trip on Monday

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AURORA | A full docket awaits Aurora City Council members Monday night for a study session, including a spectrum of items related to public safety and homelessness.

The group’s agenda includes a proposal to tighten regulations on the resale of gift cards as well as catalytic converters.

Catalytic converters are a car part frequently targeted by thieves, with close to 400 converters reported stolen in Aurora as of mid-July, according to information included in the council’s agenda packet. No information was included regarding the number of gift cards stolen, though the theft of the cards was said to “further incentivize … credit card theft and fraud.”

Catalytic converters, converter parts and gift cards sold for $30 or more would be specifically included under the city’s definition of “secondhand property,” which would ensure sellers and traders meet requirements for recording transactions and sharing that information with law enforcement.

Also on Monday, the group will consider a proposal to stop Aurora Fire Rescue from introducing the sedative drug droperidol as a medication that AFR paramedics could administer in the field.

In a news release, council sponsors Curtis Gardner and Danielle Jurinsky said they were worried about paramedics being given another sedative to administer, after the use of ketamine in the case of Elijah McClain led to Aurora Fire Rescue personnel Peter Cichuniec and Jeremy Cooper being indicted for manslaughter and criminally-negligent homicide.

The group will also talk about the trip by Mayor Mike Coffman and council members Alison Coombs and Juan Marcano to Houston last week — along with officials from Denver, Adams and Arapahoe counties — to study Houston’s response to homelessness.

Coffman on Friday took to Twitter to express skepticism about the “housing-first” model employed by the city, which prioritizes getting homeless people into housing, an approach that supporters say makes it easier for the formerly homeless to find work and address problems such as drug abuse. Marcano on the same platform praised the city’s focus on permanent supportive housing.

Council members on Monday will also talk about strengthening the rules for agenda items, so that a proposal brought forward without an estimate of the cost to the city will be “subject to a motion to continue to a later date or to be tabled until adequate information can be provided.”

Last week, some council members criticized the lack of cost information included in a new mandatory minimum sentencing law, which passed regardless.

Monday’s study session will start at 6:30 p.m. It will be streamed through the city’s YouTube channel and broadcast on local television channels 8 and 880.

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