Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates says he is not taking the police chief job in San Jose, Calif.

Oates praised for Aurora theater shooting response

AURORA, Colo. - Amid news reports that Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates is among three finalists to be the new chief of the San Jose Police Department, the chief set to dispel rumors he is leaving.

KTVU-TV  in California reported that Oates and two other finalists met Wednesday behind closed doors with key community leaders in San Jose, the third largest city in California with a population of nearly 1 million people.

San Jose spokesman David Vossbrink said the city isn't identifying candidates, but officials hope to select a new police chief in early 2013. Current San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore is retiring on Jan. 18.

Oates has drawn national attention and praise for the Aurora Police Department's response to the Century 16 theater shooting on July 20.

During his State of the State address Wednesday, Gov. John Hickenlooper praised Oates and Aurora Fire Chief Mike Garcia,  "and the men and women they represent."

"Less than 90 seconds after the first dispatch, officers were on the scene" of the theater shooting, Hickenlooper said. "Standard response protocols gave way to gut instincts. Police cruisers became make-shift ambulances."

State lawmakers also honored the heroic response of Aurora officers, firefighters and paramedics on Wednesday.

On Friday, Oates sent a department-wide email to his police department that said,  "This message is sent to dispel any rumors out there. There are media reports coming out of San Jose, California today that I was a candidate for the vacant chief of police position there. It is true that I interviewed for the job yesterday. However, I will not be going to San Jose. I will remain here as chief and look forward to continuing to work with all of you."

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