AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — FOX31 heard from the police union in Aurora about Tuesday’s announcement to hire Art Acevedo as the newest interim police chief.
But the Problem Solvers got curious about the morale of the department amid yet another temporary change at the top cop position.
It’s a police department in the middle of a reformation period seeking to find a permanent new leader and some consistency at a critical moment. It’s not been easy though, as it’s been nearly seven months since the department has had a permanent police chief.
Vanessa Wilson was fired amid intense criticism about low morale, rising crime rates and pressure to reform a department accused of institutional racism. Just a month ago, two of three finalists for the chief’s job dropped out of the running and the third didn’t have the support of the city council.
“I’m really, excited that he’s here. I’m really looking forward to working with him,” Marc Sears said of Acevedo. Sears is the president of Aurora’s FOP Lodge 49.
“I’m already talking to him, already have been talking to him even before any stories came out. He’s been very engaged with me as the union president thus far, which is a good sign moving forward. I’m really hoping for the best.” said Sears.
FOX31 was one of the first to speak with outgoing interim police chief Dan Oates during the summer when he first took the interim job. During that interview, Oates talked about officer morale and that he wanted that to be at a higher level.
But has officer morale increased?
“I haven’t been able to interact with the rank and file to an extent where I can say that the announcement has really increased their morale. But I’m hoping that it just gets better,” said Sears.