City Undertakes Comprehensive Review of Police

City Undertakes Comprehensive Review of Police
Posted on 08/25/2020

City Manager Jim Twombly and Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson announced Aug. 11 that they will be undertaking a comprehensive review of the Aurora Police Department. 21CP Solutions, a global firm of experts in the areas of civil rights and public safety, will join the city in pursuit of the common goal of a new vision of public safety that works for everyone.

The scope of this work will include the department’s leadership structure; elevating the role of community policing and engagement; assessing current policies and practices with respect to use of force, discriminatory policing and bias-free policing practices; officer misconduct and accountability; stops, searches and arrests; recruitment, hiring and retention; interaction with vulnerable populations; and crisis intervention and interactions with individuals experiencing behavioral health challenges.

Twombly emphasized, “We must serve the Aurora community in a way that recognizes and honors our diversity. That requires us taking a hard look at how we do things in order to build an agency that the community trusts. These changes are of the utmost urgency to the city, and most importantly, the community.”

Wilson said, “We embrace this opportunity for change and are committed to evolve for the betterment of our profession, our community and the residents we serve. Law enforcement is being evaluated across the nation and we want to ensure that our entire community feels that APD is an agency that shows dignity and respect and can be a role model for 21st Century policing. We will strive daily to regain the trust in our community. I believe this review, along with actionable policy and training changes, is a good first step.”

Other review efforts underway are:

  • An external, independent investigation of the Elijah McClain case examining the actions of police, firefighters and paramedics. This team-based review is being led by Jonathan Smith, who is executive director of the Washington Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.
  • The Community Police Task Force, which is tasked with reviewing current police operations and procedures and making recommendations about community engagement and potential community input on critical incidents, such as civilian oversight. The task force includes leaders and advocates from the community of faith, NAACP, criminal justice reform organizations, educators and Aurora Key Community Response Team, as well as other individuals from the community.

 

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