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4 finalists chosen to lead the Aurora Police Department

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Posted at 1:52 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 15:57:14-04

AURORA, Colo. — The City of Aurora has chosen four finalists to lead its police department amid ensuing protests calling for more police accountability.

The four finalists for the chief of police position were selected after a months-long nationwide search to replace Chief Nick Metz, who retired from the force Jan. 1.

Vanessa Wilson was appointed as the interim police chief and has been in the role ever since. She has applied for the position and is among the four finalists.

The three other finalists are:

  • Marcus Dudley Jr., commander, Aurora Police Department.
  • Alexander D. Jones, colonel and bureau chief, Baltimore County Police Department, Maryland
  • Avery L. Moore, assistant police chief, Dallas Police Department, Texas

The four candidates will be leading a department that is — like other police agencies across the country — under scrutiny as communities reexamine the role and operations of police departments in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

In a statement Tuesday, Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly acknowledged the challenging times the department and the city are facing.

“A lot has happened in the world since we began this search late last year, but I believe we have an excellent group of candidates to consider and look forward to meeting with each of them,” Twombly said in a statement. “The timing of our search for the next Aurora Chief of Police provides us with a prime opportunity to understand how we as a city want to look forward and ask questions of those who wish to lead our department.”

The finalists will be in Aurora next week to meet with city council members, the Aurora Police Department and members of the community.

The city is hosting a virtual town hall with the finalists at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 23. Residents can join online, on Comcast 8/880 in Aurora or by phone to hear from the finalists and ask questions. Questions can be submitted in advance of the town hall at AuroraGov.org/PoliceChiefTownHall.

In addition to the town hall, the candidates will also be meeting with the newly formed Community Police Task Force, which the city council created and appointed 13 members to on Monday.

The task force was formed after weeks of protests and will develop recommendations to improve police practices and transparency.