Florida-based risk management firm selected to monitor Aurora police consent decree

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AURORA | Aurora and the Colorado Attorney General’s office have selected Florida-based risk management firm IntegrAssure to oversee police and fire reforms.

“I welcome IntegrAssure’s commitment to collaborate throughout this process,” city manager Jim Twombly said in a news release. “I believe the IntegrAssure team has a varied background and depth of experience that will ensure all stakeholders have a voice and a seat at the table over the next several years.”

IntegrAssure fielded questions alongside another finalist, The Bowman Group, at a Jan. 5 public forum after interviewing with senior city leadership and the office of attorney general Phil Weiser.

At the forum, IntegrAssure founder Jeff Schlanger expressed optimism about Aurora’s ability to reform along the lines of the consent decree reached between the city and Weiser’s office, drawing parallels with the Los Angeles Police Department’s consent decree, the implementation of which he personally oversaw.

“Experience has shown us that a consent decree can be an extremely effective mechanism to catalyze reform, which in turn fosters community trust, reduces crime, and enhances officer safety,” Schlanger said in the city’s news release. “These are our goals for the city of Aurora, and we are honored to play a role in creating a fairer and safer Aurora for all.”

Aurora’s consent decree was finalized in 2021 and came after outcry over the death of Elijah McClain as well as an investigation by Weiser’s office that found police were using force disproportionately against residents of color and paramedics had been administering sedatives inappropriately.

Reforms mandated by the decree include improving use-of-force policies and prioritizing de-escalation, increasing the representation of minorities in Aurora police and fire, and evaluating any proposed policies on the use of ketamine and other sedatives.

Aurora’s City Council is scheduled to vote on the contract with IntegrAssure and finalize the bidding process during its Feb. 14 meeting. The consent decree monitor position is separate and apart from the independent police monitor division that the city will establish later this year.

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Don Black
Don Black
7 months ago

Sad waste of money to make people feel better.

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
7 months ago

No one in the State to do this?

Let’s hope that the needed reform is achieved.

DICK MOORE
7 months ago

Another way that the State and Phil Attorney General can spend my Aurora taxpayer dollars and have our City Manager smile and say thank you.

I believe we have the Council helping we citizens, now they can get a new Aurora City management team.

Get rid of Jim Twombly, please.

Publius
Publius
7 months ago

Perhaps the Sentinel could write an article explaining what would have happened, and what would have been the costs had Aurora not entered into this consent decree. What reforms would have been mandated otherwise? What would the timeline have been? Who would have monitored the changes? It seems this process is a time consuming and expensive route to where Aurora has to get. Is Aurora spending taxpayer dollars, lots of taxpayer dollars, to retain the illusion of control? If Aurora has to get to a destination which is known and will be ultimately judged by the Attorney General why not make those changes immediately and submit Aurora directly to that judgment? What is gained by interjecting, at substantial cost, this third party into the system? Is it to retain the jobs and the control of persons whose careers should have come to an end over this incident? Why not dismiss the City Manager, the Chief of Police, the Fire Chief, the City Attorney, and the Civil Service Commission, and appoint new people, people who will take responsibility in hiring, training, and deploying public safety officers a bit more reflective, demographically, of our public, and a lot more dedicated to protecting and serving that public and a bit less interested in controlling and punishing that public?

DICK MOORE
7 months ago
Reply to  Publius

Thank you, Publius, I couldn’t have said this any better, except that the Fire Chief is pretty good at his job.

Don Black
Don Black
7 months ago

Just to give you an idea of possibilities. Aurora PD went into a consent decree agreement back about 15-19 years ago that required more minority hiring. It isn’t that simple. Many minorities are not anxious to join the police because of the stigma within their own culture and the grief they face in the job. As a police officer, you deal with many nasty people who call you names and fight with you. Give a guy beer and he has trouble watching his mouth. I remember when we had only a few black officers and the grief they faced arresting nasty drunks who called them every name in the book. One black officer used to key his mike while he was transporting a prisoner so we could all hear the liberal use of the N word by his prisoner. It was recorded and he could have it played later in court. I never heard a bad word about that officer within the department. The only negative thing I ever heard about a black officer was in reference to his work. We made the same remarks about white officers who were lazy, cowardly, or incompetent. The public has no idea. If we have had so much trouble recruiting black officers for the last 30 years, why would it be easy now? In the present atmosphere. everyone has been told that the police are all racist bullies. Why would a black person want to step into that? We have also done away with personal responsibility, so now it is okay to fight the police and then sue them. Everyone from the President to the State Attorney General have pushed this racism theme. Past examples of consent decrees in other state have resulted in the moderator making millions of dollars and constantly rejecting things that were submitted for minor changes. If we are going to have a moderator long enough to see proportionate hiring, it will be a long time. This is very similar to Kamala Harris solving the root causes of immigration. Is she finished yet?
There isn’t anything wrong with the use of force policies. Making the words sound nice doesn’t change the fact that the Chief and her cronies have never required more training than an absolute minimum. Leadership is getting down to you Sergeants and Lieutenants and making sure that very day they are teaching something and demonstrating an ethical standard. It is not sitting in your office and writing new policies. Culture trumps policy every time. Leadership is making sure that your sergeants are competent and constantly setting an example. Leadership is setting a professional example that people will follow. It is not what we have seen in the Aurora Police Department. A large part of that rests directly with the top management. Each time we got a new shiny politician chief, we told him he should get rid of his whole top staff. They never did and the rot was perpetuated year after year.
I could go on, but the gist is that almost all of this and the Governor’s new plan are simply political theatre designed to make you think that are doing something. There are some good things like increased attention to mental health treatment and coresponder teams. But most of it is just window dressing and things that have been going on forever. The irony is that the same people have done their best to cripple law enforcement with their poorly worded and vague police reform bill. Now, they want to appear conscientious about crime. They won’t even take the time to examine all the flaws in their own bill. I have offered to publicly debate any of our legislators about their police reform bill. No takers.