Aurora police, community leader address officer-involved shootings

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AURORA, Colo. -- Nine months into the year and the Aurora Police Department has been involved in eight shootings.

“Eight is a high number, I'm not going to say it’s not," Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz said.

The agency recorded five officer-involved shootings in 2016 and one in 2017.

“We’re seeing a lot more guns out there I think. I can’t give you an exact reason as to why our officers are finding themselves in more of these situations, but the reality is they are," Metz said.

“I don't see a particular trend that I can point to all of the situations have been very very different.”

“Numbers don’t tell the whole story," Aurora NAACP President Omar Montgomery said.

Montgomery, a candidate for mayor, is part of a group of leaders that meets with Metz periodically.

“So far, they’ve been extremely transparent," Montgomery said. “From what I’ve seen in the reports, it seemed like there have been some areas where either the public was in danger, law enforcement was in danger, and the use of force was probably appropriate.

"I use the word probably because there’s still some reports and some footage I haven’t seen.”

The year started with three Colorado deputies killed in the line of duty. Last month, a Colorado Springs police officer was shot. A couple of days ago, an Aurora officer was shot.

It's numbers like that that put added weight on anyone who responds to calls.

“I think if stress was the cause, I think we would see a lot more officer-involved shootings than we’ve seen," Metz said.

There's still no answer to what's causing all the violence. Metz wants people to know the officers go through hours of training to make sure they know how to de-escalate situations.

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