AURORA, Colo. – Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz announced his retirement from the department on Friday night after 4 ½ years as chief, saying he plans to work at his wife’s counseling company and pursue finishing his master’s degree in counseling for first responders and military members.
“After weeks of soul searching and getting through a successfully unified and pride-filled weekend of addressing protests in our city, I felt this was the optimal time to notify city management of my decision to retire,” Metz wrote in a message posted to the Aurora Police Department’s Facebook page. “After 36 story-filled years in law enforcement, making the decision to retire was incredibly difficult.”
Metz was picked as Aurora’s new chief in early 2015 and became the first African-American police chief in Aurora. He was an assistant police chief in the Seattle Police Department prior to that.
“Upon my arrival I was fortunate to be embraced and supported by a wonderfully diverse community. A community that loves its APD. A community that gave me this ultimatum upon my arrival, ‘take care of our cops.’ Not many major cities throughout the country enjoy that level of community support, from all neighborhoods, like APD,” he wrote Friday.
He said his next plans involve counseling for first responders and that he will be working for his wife at Code-4 Counseling.
Metz said he would be enrolling at Colorado State University-Global to help create training programs and to finish a Master’s degree in counseling for first responders and the military. He said the program would be the first of its kind in the country. He said he also planned to train and handle a therapy dog.
He said he would remain in his position “till the end of the year” and would work with the department and city during the transition period. And he asked his officers to continue working for the community, celebrating themselves when they can and to get home safe after each shift. He also thanked city management and the city council.
“Thank you to everyone else for helping to make this lifelong dream come true…making it fun (most times anyway) along the way,” Metz wrote. “With the leadership of an incredibly capable, caring, and dedicated command staff, I am excited to watch from the sidelines the great things in store for APD.”
"Thank you for your leadership, dedication and service to our community," the department tweeted at Metz Friday night. "While we are excited for your next chapter in life, we are saddened to see you go."