AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Former Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates has been appointed to lead the department while the search for a permanent replacement is underway.

“How did we get, in the eight years since I left, to the place where we are today?” Oates said on Wednesday.

It’s that question he said he’ll pose to the top brass at the department.

Oates was chosen by Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly to lead APD after former Chief Vanessa Wilson’s firing.

“With the uncertainty with former Chief Wilson and uncertainty who’d be coming in as interim, it’s important for Dan to support and stabilize the department,” Twombly said.

Oates served in Aurora from 2005 to 2014, overseeing major events in the city, most notably the Aurora theater shooting in 2012.

“I did a good job of placing transparency, communication, trust-building with the community at the top of the agenda, and I intend to do that in my time as interim,” Oates said.

Oates’ selection seems to have satisfied city leaders and social activists alike.

“He will help, certainly. He’s the type of person that will work with those who Aurora police are not comfortable with,” Alvertis Simmons, a social activist in Aurora, said.

“He knows the city and he knows the department, and I think at a time when we’re going to begin the process of looking for a new chief, a permanent chief, bringing somebody in with his experience and knowledge of the department and city was a smart choice by the city manager,” said Dustin Zvonek, at-large Aurora City councilman.

The city remains tasked with the duty to find a permanent chief.

“I always want to help Jim (Twombly) and the recruitment team to recruit the best possible talent,” Oates said.