Aurora names Art Acevedo as its second interim police chief

Aurora named its second interim police chief as it continues to search for a permanent replacement.

Art Acevedo brings 35 years of law enforcement experience and national recognition to the Aurora Police Department. He served as police chief in Austin and Houston, Texas, and Miami. He runs a law enforcement consultant agency and is a law enforcement analyst for national new organizations

He replaces Daniel Oates, who was in his second stint leading the department.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Aurora again,” Oates said in a statement. “I am proud of how far the department has come during my six months here and I’m confident that our dedicated police officers will build upon that progress under the steady leadership of Chief Acevedo.”

Oates served as Aurora Police chief from 2005-14 before retiring to become Miami Beach Police Chief in Florida. He returned this summer on an interim basis until the city could find a permanent police chief.

During his time in Houston, Acevedo garnered national attention during his response to Hurricane Harvey in 2017.  But, he left his most recent job in a cloud of controversy. Last year, he was fired as Miami Police Chief after six months on the job. Acevedo came under scrutiny for sending an eight-page memo to the Miami City manager Art Noriega criticizing city commissioners for interfering in internal affairs.  

Aurora has been searching for a police chief for six months since the firing of Vaness Wilson in April. City officials said despite being active in the community, she failed to boost morale within the department following the death of Elijah McClain.

The city selected three finalists from 21 applicants in September. One of the finalists dropped out early in the process. After the two remaining finalists met with city officials and the community over a three-day period, a second finalist withdrew his name from consideration.

Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly announced that the city would extend its search instead of hiring the lone finalist.