AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — There could be a new obstacle for Aurora’s police chief as she tries to reform the department, as officers in one of the city’s police unions are voting on whether they think she’s up to the job.
On Thursday night, the Aurora Police Association was wrapping up a no-confidence vote in Chief Vanessa Wilson, while the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 49, already issued a statement of no confidence earlier this week.
“The call to reject Vanessa Wilson is only a call to say that they are not ready to change the things that the community has demanded for years now,” said Candice Bailey, an at-large candidate for Aurora City Council who’s been active in the movement to address police misconduct.
She says the no-confidence vote is a misstep and misguided.
“Two organizations that are trusted with supporting their officers are actually denouncing the highest seat of the police force,” Bailey said.
The APA plans to turn over the results of its vote to city brass. Meanwhile, the Aurora FOP has scheduled an Oct. 5 meeting with Wilson to address officer concerns.
“Law enforcement is ugly. We are warriors that fight that fight,” said Marc Sears, the FOP union president, in an interview earlier this week.
Sears said Wilson proceeding forward with a deeper look at a highly publicized, violent traffic stop hurts department morale and officer psyche.
“At some point in time, they have to look at the wellbeing of police officers,” Sears said.
Since Wilson was appointed Chief in August 2020, she has had to tackle a number of high-profile cases.
In a statement, Deputy City Manager Jason Batchelor said in part: “She was selected, because we believed, and still believe, that she’s the right person. She accepted and embraced her role, knowing significant challenges were ahead.”
Wilson was not immediately available for comment.
Sources tell FOX31 there were 442 votes of no confidence and 16 votes in Wilson’s favor.