Aurora Sees Uptick In Violence As Search Continues For Police Chief

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The city of Aurora calls itself the safest large city in Colorado, but it has seen a lot of violence in the last week. Aside from tense protests, there has also been a lot of disturbance.

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The latest incident was on Peoria Street near 6th Avenue where five people were shot. All are expected to survive. There was also a shooting on a bus near Mississippi Avenue and Troy Street, a deadly shooting a pawn shop on Peoria Street and 6th Ave., a deadly shooting at 19th and Oswego, a woman who was shot through her front door on Dillon Way, and shots fired near Apache Mesa park. All within the last five days.

This is happening while Aurora Police has no permanent chief. At a town hall Wednesday, citizens asked the final four candidates how they plan to improve community relations and safety amidst such turbulent times.

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“A mother to a toddler in north west aurora says I have become numb to hearing gunshots while lying in bed at night,” read the moderator.

All four candidates agreed that community involvement is the key to making sure Aurora and its residents are safe.

“I think community involvement is important I think that’s one way we can bridge the lack of trust with law enforcement,” said Avery Moore, an assistant police chief at the Dallas Police Department.

Marcus Dudley Jr., a current Aurora police commander offered an answer based on his experience.

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“We send officers back into the neighborhood to hand out fliers to give a brief description on what crimes occurred and for them to also make contact with folks to reassure them that the crime is being addressed,” he said.

“We have to make sure we are focusing not only on crime but also on people,” said Alexander Jones, a colonel and bureau chief at the Baltimore County Police Department.

Interim Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson says people can help the police help them by getting to know their Police Area Representatives and trusting them as fellow human beings.

“They need to get to know who’s responsible for their area and trust in them that when they call them they are going to respond and help them,” she said.

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