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Aurora police chief sends bold message in response to Trump tweet

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AURORA, Colo. -- The Aurora police chief took an opposing stand to President Donald Trump when it comes to transgender people.

Trump announced a ban Tuesday on transgender people serving in the military.

Wednesday, Aurora police chief Nick Metz took a page from Trump by turning to Twitter to send a message of acceptance instead of one of exclusion.

"After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow …Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military," Trump tweeted this week.

The tweet was met with cheers and jeers depending on political points of view.

But the police chief of Colorado's third-largest city issued a tweet of his own.

Metz said he felt compelled to speak out on the controversial issue because he believes Americans should be inclusive and not divisive.

He also believes in recruiting the same people they protect and serve.

And while the department doesn't have any transgender employees that it knows of, it has in the past.

Metz said a person's gender identity is not important to doing the job of a police officer.

He said the department looks at other attributes, including integrity, honesty and accountability.

"To have people come from diverse backgrounds, ethnicity or religious, people who have diverse experiences who can approach these situations in a compassionate and empathic manner … to see something that was excluding a particular group of folks, it hit me hard," Metz said.

As a result, he encourages transgender people to apply to the police department. Police will have a recruiting tent at the city's first Aurora Pride event on Aug. 5.

It's still unclear how Trump's tweets will affect the estimated 6,000 transgender troops already in the military. For the moment, no policy change has taken place.

Under a policy announced last year, those troops were allowed to serve openly.

But critics say even the president can't eliminate a regulation such as this by tweet.

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