Former Miami chief Art Acevedo considered to lead Aurora police as interim chief


    AURORA | Art Acevedo is being considered to lead the Aurora Police Department on an interim basis, and has been named as a consultant to help the city implement public safety reforms, according to a city spokesman.

    Sources close to the matter previously told The Sentinel that Acevedo was being considered for the job, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

    “We would certainly welcome someone of Art Acevedo’s caliber to lead the Aurora Police Department,” city spokesman Ryan Luby wrote Monday in a statement.

    “He recently began discussions with city management about assisting us with the consent decree. During the discussions we asked him if he would consider applying for our interim police chief position. He has not committed to the job until he has had the opportunity to meet with city officials.”

    Dan Oates — who previously served as chief between 2005 and 2014 — returned to lead the department on an interim basis after Vanessa Wilson was fired earlier this year.

    While Oates’ contract with the city terminates at the end of November, the city previously said in a statement that he had “agreed to extend his service as the interim chief here, as needed.” A job opening for interim chief was posted earlier this month with a salary range of $192,000-$250,000. Wilson was salaried at $215,000. 

    Acevedo formerly led the police departments of Austin, Houston and, most recently, Miami. During that time, the 36-year law enforcement officer cultivated a reputation of openness to reform and working collaboratively with troubled police departments.

    Acevedo made national headlines in June 2020 in Houston when he marched with Black Lives Matter protesters during a series of protests across the nation after the death of George Floyd.

    Acevedo was fired by Miami city officials last year and filed a federal lawsuit in January, claiming protection as a whistleblower. The lawsuit was filed against Miami City Manager Arthur Noriega and city lawmakers Joe Carollo, Alex Díaz de la Portilla and Manolo Reyes, according to a report by CNN.

    He also faced criticism from the Miami police union for his stance on police ethics and reform, according to local news reports, similar to the criticism directed at Wilson by Aurora’s police unions and critics on city council. An attorney for Wilson recently announced she would file a wrongful termination lawsuit against the City of Aurora.  

    Sources told The Sentinel that Acevedo came to Aurora to meet with the City Council. An item titled “police chief recruitment” was included on the agenda for an executive session scheduled to come before the group’s Monday night meeting.

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    22 days ago

    Now you have to admit, this is seriously interesting, right? City’s looking at a male version of Chief Wilson. Huh? Let’s hear more Max!

    21 days ago

    Thank God he has the right skin color!!

    Don Black
    Don Black
    21 days ago

    I know that people don’t really have any grasp on what is happening in police work, and I know that few people read this stuff. However, I cannot, as a long time police officer and supervisor, fail to shed a little light on the subject. The police are not opposed to transparency. However, emotional, politically correct responses without judging the facts accurately and fairly are not what the police expect or deserve. Police chiefs have been politicians for many years. They generally don’t represent the officers well nor do they do what is best for the public. They re chosen just like our regular politicians based upon some image and connections they create by being smooth talking chameleons.

    Right now, we are in a serious dilemma. The politically correct chief, like the chiefs before him/her cannot tell the truth. He/she cannot lead ethically. The officers know that right now the police reform bill and the consent decree are lies told to the public. Yes, they sound good. What you don’t know, is that they are badly flawed and have caused officers to leave or quit doing their job. The City wants a chief who will support the flawed assumptions in the police reform bill and the consent decree. The officers know that any chief who won’t speak up honestly about the real problems in the reform bill and the consent decree does not possess the moral courage or honesty to be a real chief. Don’t get me wrong, that courage and honesty is almost completely lacking now in the ranks of police leadership. It always has been. That lack of honesty by chiefs meant that they lied about the lack of training and they covered for bad officers they liked. They had a closed system where they could hide their lack of leadership and misconduct that would embarrass them.

    Transparency is good. Letting emotional, politically correct impressions made by the media dictate police discipline and criminal charges is not good. Police officers are being criminally charged based upon emotional outbursts by the media, legislators and a public primed by both.

    Right now, Aurora needs a chief who will tell it like it is honestly. They don’t need another smooth politician like the ones they have had for so long. Unfortunately, that is probably not possible in this environment. So, we will continue with the smooth talking politicians and political correctness and you will wonder why few people want to be police officers and why so many are leaving. They know many things that you do not.

    The Supreme Court decided long ago that police use of force should be judged from the viewpoint of a reasonable officer at the scene. The police agreed that the police action by Officer Chauvin in the George Floyd case was criminal. There was no need for knee jerk laws that were passed. Most of those laws are ridiculous when actually critiqued and discussed with police giving insight.

    I don’t expect any real progress in police work in Aurora. The City has already made decisions that prohibit good, or even honest, police work. They have set us on a path that will take a long time and a lot of wasted money before they realize the error of what they have done. Naturally, it will be public outcry that will eventually turn the tide. That will take a long time and much suffering before the support for the police comes back to where its should be. The politicians will never admit they were wrong.

    The transparency must remain when it changes. The chiefs who won’t stand up when their officers are right should go. The chiefs who won’t tell you the truth because it is uncomfortable should go. They jeopardize all of our safety for their careers. I predict that the City will continue to make poor judgments in the Chief selection to support their already bad judgment.

    21 days ago
    Reply to  Don Black

    A google search states that Miami Police Chief, Art Acevedo, was suspended after only six month on the job. Does ANYONE vet these people?