AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — FOX31 is getting insight into the search for a new top cop in Aurora and it appears to be quite the challenge.
It so happens this isn’t an isolated issue when it comes to chief of police vacancies in the metro area. The Problem Solvers are digging into some of the reasons why.
Aurora city officials confirm that since extending their search for a police chief in October, they haven’t received any formal applications.
There appears to be a plethora of police chief positions open around the area. Cities like Loveland and Westminster are expected to announce hires before the end of the year.
The Problem Solvers also performed a simple job search online and found several job postings listed for ‘chief of police’ positions over the past few months including Commerce City, Nederland, Brighton and Lakewood.
But why so many?
“When you have open police chief positions and it’s being difficult to fill them, I think that it’s just kind of piggybacking off of what has happened with law enforcement as a whole,” said Marc Sears, the president of Aurora’s FOP Lodge 49.
He also says political and social changes over the last few years have led to the instability we’re seeing in departments statewide and around the country.
“It’s usually a very competitive position and there’s people from all over the country who are really good, qualified candidates to be chiefs of those organizations,” Sears said, adding: “I think that what’s happened over the past two-and-a-half, three years now, the communities and the climate has changed and it’s almost an unwinnable situation.”
There have been some recently filled positions in places like Denver where Chief Ron Thomas was officially sworn in less than a month ago.
But in other places, there are interim or acting chiefs in place until one is solidified, like Aurora. Despite ongoing efforts, city officials say there have been zero applicants since the search for a top cop was extended in October.
“We have a bunch of people who are saying how to be a police officer, but they’ve never been a police officer,” Sears said.
It’s a concern he believes could make the situation of filling positions more difficult, something many communities can’t afford as crime reaches a flashpoint in our state.
Meanwhile, in Aurora, the Interim Chief of Police Dan Oates has agreed to extend his service there as needed.