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Aurora Police Announces New Interim Deputy Chief

Aurora Police Announces New Interim Deputy Chief
Posted on 03/23/2023

Aurora Police Chief Art Acevedo is excited to announce the addition of Heather Morris to the Executive Staff as Interim Deputy Chief of Police. Morris began her 22-year career with the Houston Police Department in 1999, retiring in 2021 as an Assistant Chief. She has worked in Patrol, Field Training, DWI Task Force, Criminal Investigations, and Internal Affairs Investigations. She believes community engagement and transparency are a top priority and will bring those values to Aurora.

"I've always believed in working with the community and being a true representative of the people we [as a police department] serve every day, no matter my title. The idea of coming to Aurora and helping move the department forward, having a hand in the positive steps we're taking, I knew I wanted to be part of that. I plan on working with the community and finding ways to bring them into our processes so everyone understands our department and the good work we're doing," said Morris.

Morris graduated from the University of Houston in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. During her law enforcement career in Houston, she went on to earn her Master of Arts in Criminology from the University of Houston. In 2014, Morris earned a promotion to Commander and led the South Central Patrol Division, Robbery Division and the Internal Affairs Division at HPD. In 2020, she was again promoted to Assistant Chief and assigned to the Criminal Investigations Command, where she oversaw a staff similar in size to APD. Morris also spent time as the Deputy Chief of the Miami Police Department. She has a passion for promoting organizational integrity and community policing throughout the department, something Police Chief Art Acevedo believes is vital to this position.

"Since my arrival in December, I have spent many hours meeting and visiting with Aurora Police Department personnel. A common theme I heard is a desire for a fresh perspective within the executive leadership team. With this in mind, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Morris as Interim Deputy Chief. Deputy Chief Morris is a seasoned police executive who has a record of sustained excellence throughout her over two decades of service. She is a high energy, ethical professional, and is committed to organizational excellence. I have witnessed, first-hand, the positive impact she has had on the teams she led," said Chief Acevedo.

It was during Morris' time in Houston that she also met her husband, Phillip, who is a fellow law enforcement officer having worked for the Galveston Police Department. The two have a blended family of five children and one grandchild, with their youngest daughter following her parents' footsteps in public safety and working for the Texas A & M University Police Department in College Station, Texas.

"The Aurora Police Department is a department committed to being the very best it can be, and I am excited to be part of their ongoing efforts. I also look forward to serving in this beautiful city and experiencing its richly diverse culture. I’m excited to get involved with the community, try a few outdoor sports, and really immerse myself in all Aurora has to offer. My husband and I are excited for the adventure ahead," said Morris.

It is currently planned that Heather Morris will officially be sworn into the position of Interim Deputy Chief of Police on April 3, 2023.

Agent Matthew Longshore
Public Information Office

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