AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Aurora announced Tuesday that its search for a new police chief will continue, just days after the city introduced its finalists to the community.
The two finalists were Scott Ebner, a retired lieutenant colonel and deputy superintendent of administration for New Jersey State Police, and David Franklin, the Albuquerque Police Department chief of staff.
Franklin withdrew his application after visiting the city for the three-day selection process, according to the city. Multiple sources told FOX31 that Ebner did not have the support of the council.
“I greatly appreciate the time the finalists spent with our community,” Aurora City Manager
Jim Twombly said in a statement. “Over the last week, I listened to a lot of feedback from community members and city council members who want us to continue the search for a variety of reasons, and I support that. We all – city management, the city council and the community – want the best person for the job who will address crime in Aurora and lead the Aurora Police Department to be racially equitable, bias-free, culturally competent and responsive to all residents.”
Some community members had taken issue with the finalists. Members of the city’s now-dissolved police oversight task force said they did not have a seat at the table. The Aurora Police Department has a history of allegations of racism, brutality and mistrust, and they said community representation is important.
A total of 21 people applied for the job, according to the city. Of the seven applicants who were women or people of color, two were considered as semi-finalists.
“Moving forward, we will be assessing the process and determining next steps as we continue
the search,” Twombly said in the statement. “People across our community may have differing preferences of who they want to lead the Aurora Police Department, but we will make sure that whoever is chosen will be held to serving every member of our community equitably.”
Ultimately, the city manager will hire a police chief and get approval from a majority of the Aurora City Council. Former Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates has been serving as the department’s interim leader after Chief Vanessa Wilson was fired in April.